Ateneo ends UP streak with OT win, grabs share of 3rd

By Jun Ray Navarres

Ateneo de Manila University stained University of the Philippines strong start with a 99-89 win in overtime of UAAP S86 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Sunday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Both teams were still going up and down midway into overtime until Blue Eagle Rookie Mason Amos dropped five straight points to give Ateneo a 90-85 cushion.

“I think we just did a good job keeping composed. We know they’re gonna make a comeback because they’re a good team… So we just stay composed and stick to what we can control. That’s how I guess we got it done,” said Amos who finished with a career-game 19 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists.

Joseph Obasa then extended Ateneo’s lead, 92-85 with only 1:27 left in the extension.

UP Captain CJ Cansino trimmed the lead down with an and-one basket but missed his freebie, 92-87. Reyland Torres picked up the loose ball and was fouled but unfortunately missed his trips to charity.

Amos was not over with his onslaught, drilling another breakaway basket for a 94-87 lead.

UP was not able to recover from the deficit and absorbed their first loss to cap the first round of UAAP.

“Obviously very delighted with the win. It was a character game for us. UP is a great team and they played great. I think that they did UP stuff the entire game,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.

“They’re just so tough, CJ just making plays – Harold (Alarcon) and all these guys making big plays when it mattered. We stuck to our guns, and we got some stops when we needed to get stops.”

Obasa tallied 13 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks against MVP Malick Diouf who produced 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Chris Koon delivered 17 points and seven rebounds for the Blue Eagles while Kai Ballungay stepped up for another double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

“To win big games you need to do things that are sort of out of system. Guys need to step up and make big plays,” added Baldwin, commending his player for the effort.

Ateneo finished round one with 4-3 tie with De La Salle University while UP dropped to 6-1 deadlock with National University.

Featured photo courtesy of UAAP

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