Eagles win bird fight

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ATENEO de Manila’s Thirdy Ravena scoots past Adamson defender Sean Manganti during their UAAP men’s basketball clash at the Ynares Center.     JOAQUIN FLORES

FALCONS IN LOWEST OUTPUT

Games Wednesday
(Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. UST vs. Adamson
4 p.m. La Salle vs. NU

Ateneo de Manila University secured a playoff for the twice-to-beat bonus in the Final Four round with a clinical demolition of Adamson University, 62-48, in Season 81 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Coming into this game, we knew we had a tough match up and we have to make sure our defense holds up

The Blue Eagles used stifling defense on the Soaring Falcons, particularly on Jerrick Ahanmisi, to come away with the victory and move closer to a top two finish with a league-leading 10-2 win-loss card.

“Coming into this game, we knew we had a tough match up and we have to make sure our defense holds up,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, whose team avenged their 70-74 loss to Adamson in the first round.

“We recognize that this Adamson team is a very disciplined team, they’re a well-oiled machine, have a couple of good offensive players and their defensive system is very good,” he added.

Ahanmisi, who erupted for 23 points in their first meeting, managed to hit double figures with 10 but majority came when the game was already in the bag for the Blue Eagles.

Isaac Go led Ateneo with 12 points while Thirdy Ravena added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Eagles, who held the Soaring Falcons to their lowest output under coach Franz Pumaren’s era.

Jerome Lastimosa led all scorers with 13 points to pace Adamson, which stayed at No. 2 with 8-3 card but is now only one game ahead of La Salle (7-4).

Ateneo’s defense forced Adamson to bleed for points early on and held a 26-17 halftime.

We recognize that this Adamson team is a very disciplined team, they’re a well-oiled machine.

Anton Asistio’s triple gave the Blue Eagles their biggest lead at 20 points, 41-21, 5:40 left in the third and the Soaring Falcons failed to muster a solid run in the final period to absorb their third loss in 11 outings.

Meanwhile, Far Eastern University avenged its first-round loss to University of the East with an 80-61 victory and tied University of the Philippines at fourth spot with 6-6 win-loss mark.

The Tamaraws banked on their hot shooting from the three-point area, converting 15 of their 30 attempts led by Kenneth Tuffin and Arvin Tolentino to stay in the race for a Final Four berth.

Tolentino led FEU with 18 points, spiked with four triples, while Tuffing poured in a career-high points highlighted by 5-of-8 shooting from the rainbow to pace the Tamaraws, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

“For us, it’s a new lease on life after the four-game losing streak. This is our first win in the second round and we’re hoping to get the next game and another one to keep our hopes alive,” said FEU head coach Olsen Racela.

“I just like to give it to these guys, they remained positive. All throughout the losing streak, there were reasons why we lost but what I liked about the losing streak was we never gave up,” he added.

Kevin Ebona added 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Tamaraws, who rebounded from their 65-90 loss to the Red Warriors in the first round.

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