UAAP: Ateneo sails past NU for second win

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2022 08:59 PM | Updated as of Oct 05 2022 10:13 PM

ABS-CBN news.
Ateneo guard Forthsky Padrigao looks to make a play against the NU Bulldogs. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN news.

MANILA (UPDATED) -- The Ateneo Blue Eagles cruised to a second straight win in UAAP Season 85 on Wednesday, defeating National University (NU) 77-60 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Blue Eagles broke the game open in the third quarter and led by as much as 22 points in the win, wherein they held NU to just 38.1% shooting. Reigning Most Valuable Player Ange Kouame had 17 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in a Player of the Game performance. 

Forthsky Padrigao had 13 points, five assists and three steals, while Dave Ildefonso had 12 points and six dimes. The Blue Eagles assisted on 24 of their 30 field goals in the contest.

"I thought we played pretty well. NU is a disruptive team when they play, and they threw different looks at us," Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin said. "I think it was an improvement over our first game in terms of our offense. Defensively, we're still solid but we can do better."

"Generally speaking, I was pretty pleased with the performance, really pleased to get the win," he added.

After leading 38-30 at the break, the Blue Eagles opened the third quarter on an 11-0 blast to push their lead to double-digits, 49-30. The Bulldogs got within 12 points, 63-51, off a Nat Tulabut bucket in the fourth quarter, but they couldn't get over the hump. 

Ateneo responded with a 12-2 run, capped by an Ildefonso layup to give them their biggest lead, 75-53, with three minutes left. 

Baldwin later said that he was pleased with how the Blue Eagles responded to NU's physical play.

"I think NU is gonna be a difficult team throughout the season, they're gonna get better and better," the coach said. "[I'm] glad to be 2-0. Obviously still a lot of work to do."

Mike Malonzo led the Bulldogs with 13 points and nine rebounds, but Clemente struggled: the guard made just three of nine shots for nine points. Rookie guard Kean Baclaan was 3-of-15 from the field for seven points, and also committed four turnovers. 

Ateneo is now 2-0 in the season, tied with defending champion University of the Philippines at the standings. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-1.

The Scores:

ATENEO 77 -- Kouame 17, Padrigao 13, Ildefonso 12, Ballungay 10, Andrade 9, Koon 6, Lazaro 5, Gomez 3, Daves 2, Chiu 0, Garcia 0, Quitevis 0, Fornilos 0, Lao 0, Ong 0.

NU 60 -- Malonzo 13, Clemente 9, Manansala 9, Baclaan 7, Figueroa 6, Yu 4, Galinato 3, Palacielo 3, Minerva 2, John 2, Tulabut 2, Mahinay 0, Padrones 0.

Quarters: 20-15, 38-30, 60-45, 77-60.