There was hardly any doubt in the outcome between the defending UAAP champions and the team who had the worst record in the league.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles played true to their form as they delivered a 90-70 rout over the lowly UE Red Warriors on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Tyler Tio had a career-high 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting to lead Ateneo. Tio once again subbed in for the still-recovering Matt Nieto and he delivered a solid performance. Four other Blue Eagles reached in double-figures. Angelo Kouame, who had a monster 30-20 performance in his last game, collected 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Thirdy Ravena was back from his one-game suspension and he ended up with 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
"We had a terrific first half both on offense and the defense," said coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
The Blue Eagles were clicking on all cylinders early in the contest as they established a lead as high as 34 points. Flashes of their pinpoint passing and constant player movement were showcased while the Red Warriors struggled to keep up. A 28-9 second quarter punctuated Ateneo's strong first half.
UE's only reprieve was a 13-3 run spurt to open the third frame. Led by Philip Manalang and Alvin Pasaol, the Red Warriors cut the lead to 20 points midway through the third. Pasaol finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds, but he was only 1-for-8 from downtown. Manalang meanwhile had an all-around game of 18 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
"Third quarter, UE came out with a lot of fire," shared Arespacochaga. "Good thing we had a good cushion."
Ateneo kept an arm's length every time UE would make a run. The Blue Eagles were hardly threatened in the closing moments as they cruised to their eighth win of the season.
"There's still a lot of work to be done but we have are generally happy with the win," the coach went on.
UE's record is in stark contrast with Ateneo as it now has a 1-9 record after losing its fifth straight game.
ATENEO 90 - Kouame 18, Tio 16, Verano 14, Ravena 10, Mendoza 10, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 6, Navarro 5, Black 3, Daves 2, Asistio 0, Wong 0, Go 0, Andrade 0
UE 70 - Pasaol 29, Manalang 18, Varilla 9, Cullar 6, Bartolome 4, Stait 2, Guion 1, Beltran 1, Gallardo 0, Lacap 0, Antiporda 0, Acuno 0, Gagate 0
QUARTER SCORES: 29-15, 57-24, 73-51, 90-70
Manalang and Pasaol combined for 47 points and 20 rebounds. The rest of UE only had 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Brothers Matt and Mike Nieto missed their third straight game as they continue to recover from their ailments.
Ateneo - Oct. 27 (Sat) vs NU Bulldogs at Araneta Coliseum
UE - Oct. 28 (Sun) vs UST Growling Tigers at Filoil Flying V Centre