Eagles repeat over Archers, secure final four slot
MANILA, Philippines— Ateneo was the first team to book its ticket to the UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four with its 77-69 victory over La Salle Sunday at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Adrian Wong caught fire with 18 points on a 4-of-7 clip from downtown as the Blue Eagles rose to 10-0 for the season.
His explosion couldn't get any more timely as Ateneo swept its rival, while also extending its winning run to 20 straight games dating back to last season.
"If Adrian doesn’t come out hot, we would have been in trouble," said coach Tab Baldwin.
Thirdy Ravena chimed in 13 points and seven boards, Ange Kouame registered a double-double of 10 points, 14 boards, and three blocks, and Will Navarro got nine points and three rebounds for the Blue Eagles.
The Green Archers got to within six, 61-55, after a Justine Baltazar bucket with 7:13 left, but Ravena and Gian Mamuyac conspired in pulling away, scoring seven unanswered points to restore the 13-point advantage, 68-55, with 3:50 remaining.
Jamie Malonzo attempted to spark one last rally for La Salle, but Wong was just too cool from the stripe, burying three of his four charities in the final 23.5 seconds to ice the game for good.
Baltazar was limited to just 12 points and nine rebounds in the defeat after posting a 25-25 statline the last time out against NU.
Encho Serrano scattered 15 points, eight rebounds, and two steals to lead La Salle as it fell to a 4-5 record, on a tie with FEU for fourth place.
ADMU 77 — Wong 18, Ravena 13, Kouame 10, Navarro 9, Mamuyac 6, Belangel 5, Mi. Nieto 5, Daves 3, Ma. Nieto 3, Tio 3, Go 2.
DLSU 69 — Serrano 15, Baltazar 12, Caracut 11, Malonzo 10, Melecio 10, Manuel 7, Bartlett 2, Bates 2, Lojera 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15, 36-30, 55-50, 77-69.