Ateneo escapes UE in OT, Adamson boosts Final Four bid

By Maxine Louise Lagman

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Adamson University (AdU) rallied down to the line to eliminate their contenders in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday, November 23, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena 

The Blue Eagles defeated University of the East (UE), 69-66, in the overtime period to clinch a Final Four spot at second place with a 9-3 win-loss record behind defending champion University of the Philippines. 

UE’s Abdul Sawat made back-to-back points that gave the Red Warriors a four-point cushion to open the extra period, 66-62. 

BJ Andrade made a free throw after UE’s bench was called before Ange Kouame drained two freebies plus the go-ahead basket to regain the lead, 67-66.

Another foul call on the Red Warriors put Forthsky Padrigao on the line who calmly made both points, 4.5 ticks left.

JM Tulabut attempted a triple but missed, handing the win to the Blue Eagles. 

“Sometimes winning ugly is not necessarily the way you wanna win but it’s just as valuable in the standings and standings is extremely important right now,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin.

Kai Ballungay led Ateneo with 14 points and seven rebounds. Dave Ildefonso and Kouame tallied double-double records of 12 points and 14 rebounds, and 12 markers and 12 boards, respectively.

Rey Remogat had 21 points, while Luis Villegas finished with 11 markers, nine rebounds, five steals, four assists, and two blocks for UE. 

Adamson, on the other hand, eliminated Far Eastern University (FEU), 75-70, to boost its Final Four chances. 

The Tamaraws could not handle the heat of the game and was called on several fouls, giving the chance for Adamson to convert it all to additional scores on their side. Time eventually ran out as FEU failed to take important shots down the stretch. 

Jerom Lastimosa finished with 23 points on 7-of-10 clip from the field, while Lenda Douanga had a perfect 8-of-8 to chip in 18 markers and seven rebounds. Cedrick Manzano added a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.

With the win, Adamson is tied with De La Salle University at 6-6 for joint fourth. 

Jorick Bautista paced FEU with 14 points, while Cholo Anonuevo had 13 markers, nine rebounds, and five assists. With the loss, the Tamaraws are now eliminated from the Final Four run, and this is the first time they failed to clinch a spot in the Final Four since Season 75. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meanxi

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