MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Veteran guard Gian Mamuyac took charge in the third frame as Ateneo de Manila University pulled away for a 94-72 demolition of University of the East (UE) on Thursday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
What was a close game for two-and-a-half quarters turned into another Ateneo rout, thanks in large part to Mamuyac, who netted a new career-high of 21 points in the triumph -- 15 of which came in the second half.
Ange Kouame had 21 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks, while Dave Ildefonso and SJ Belangel each fired 12 points in the victory. The Blue Eagles shot 44% from the field and made 21 of their 34 free throws, while out-rebounding UE, 60-37.
The Blue Eagles improved to 6-0 in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament, while sending the Red Warriors to a sixth consecutive defeat. UE remains the only winless team in the league.
"The beginning of the game, we lacked a bit of energy and lacked a bit of cohesion," said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin, pointing to the absence of veteran forward Raffy Verano who took a knock in their previous game against National University (NU). "He probably could have played today but we thought it was best to keep him out."
"In the fourth quarter, we did a better job defending, we did a better job defending their three-point shooting, and we did a better job rebounding the ball. We got to the line a lot, Ange had a big game in the second half," the coach added.
Behind the hot shooting of Harvey Pagsanjan, Kyle Paranada and Justine Guevarra, the Red Warriors went toe to toe with the Blue Eagles in the first half, which ended tied at 39.
Paranada continued his prolific scoring in the third quarter that saw UE surge ahead, 53-51. That was when Mamuyac took over on both ends of the floor. The veteran helped shut down Panarada, while anchoring a 14-0 run that gave Ateneo a more comfortable 65-55 lead at the end of the third period.
They poured it on in the final quarter, scoring 11 unanswered points to push their advantage to 22 points, 84-62, with 6:13. The Red Warriors, meanwhile, ran out of steam in the fourth quarter where they put up just 17 points to Ateneo's 29.
Paranada and Pagsanjan each scored 15 points, but UE saw their shooting percentage dip in the second half and they finished the game just making 35.4% of their shots.
Up next for Ateneo is a rematch of the Season 82 finals against University of Santo Tomas on Saturday, while UE takes on NU.
ATENEO 94 -- Mamuyac 21, Kouame 21, Ildefonso 12, Belangel 12, Daves 6, Gomez 5, Tio 4, Koon 4, Chiu 4, Mendoza 3, Lazaro 2, Padrigao 0, Andrade 0, Mallillin 0.
UE 72 -- K. Paranada 15, Pagsanjan 15, Escamis 8, N. Paranada 8, Guevarra 6, Antiporda 6, J. Cruz 4, Lorenzana 4, Catacutan 4, Beltran 2, Abatayo 0, Sawat 0, Villanueva 0, Tulabut 0, P. Cruz 0, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 15-15, 39-39, 65-55, 94-72.