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Blue Eagles flex muscles vs. Red Warriors, two wins from sweep

ANTIPOLO - The Ateneo Blue Eagles hardly broke a sweat as they delivered an 84-50 romp of the UE Red Warriors, earning their 12th straight victory in UAAP Season 82 Sunday at the Ynares Center.

As the Blue Eagles continue to soar and need only two wins from completing an elimination round sweep, the Red Warriors have been eliminated from contention with their ninth defeat of the season.

Fourteen of Ateneo's 16 players scored in the 34-point rout. Isaac Go led the way with 13 points followed by key contributions from Ange Kouame and Thirdy Ravena, who earned 11 points apiece while combining for 15 rebounds.

The defending champions had put a stranglehold on their opponent as early as the first quarter. After surrendering four early points, the Blue Eagles quickly flipped the script with a 17-2 run and ended the period with a nine-point lead. Not satisfied with 40-25 halftime advantage, they opened the third with a 13-0 scoring barrage as the Red Warriors fired blanks.

"Very proud of the team. That first half was patchy but generally good. I think probably there are some individual disappointments in the first half, some players didn't protect the ball very well. Maybe our shot selection, I think we settled for the 3 a little too much too early in the first half," said coach Tab Baldwin. "And if we ran our offense and we get good movement in our offense, then we shouldn't be settling for the 3."

Ateneo established a lead as high as 36 points, 82-46, after Go connected on an and-1 play with a minute left in the game.

The Blue Eagles led in a number of statistical categories, including rebounding (47-37), second chance points (22-12), and perimeter points (50-10). They also shot 42 percent from the field, including 8-for-20 from beyond the arc, while holding the Red Warriors to just 32 percent.

Alex Diakhite tallied 15 points and 15 rebounds and Rey Suerte added 10 for the Red Warriors who also committed 23 turnovers, which led to 30 points for Ateneo.

Ateneo, already assured of the number one seed, kept its record unblemished at 12-0 while UE dropped to 3-9, losing its fourth straight game.

THE SCORES

ATENEO 84 -- Go 13, Kouame 11, Ravena 11, Belangel 9, Wong 9, Ma. Nieto 6, Tio 6, Chiu 4, Credo 4, Mamuyac 3, Mi. Nieto 3, Maagdenberg 2, Mallillin 2, Andrade 1, Daves 0, Navarro 0.

UE 50 -- Diakhite 15, Suerte 10, Abanto 6, Apacible 6, Camacho 3, Cruz 3, Antiporda 2, Pagsanjan 2, Tolentino 2, Manalang 1, Conner 0, Lorenzana 0, Mendoza 0, Natividad 0.

Quarters: 17-8, 40-25, 65-35, 84-50.

EXTRA DRIBBLES

Will Navarro got hit in the first quarter and did not check back into the game, logging just four minutes.

Ateneo's 34-point win is the biggest winning margin this season after UST's 28-point victory over UE.

UE will miss the Final Four for the 10th straight year.

NEXT GAMES

ADMU - October 26 vs NU at Ynares Antipolo

UE - October 27 vs FEU at Ynares Antipolo