Ateneo sweeps first round, UP notches 6th straight win

By Maxine Louise Lagman

Defending champion Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) keeps their perfect slate, while University of the Philippines (UP) survives late rally from opponent to end their first round campaign in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament on a high note on Saturday, April 9, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

UE vs NU

The National University (NU) kept the University of the East (UE) winless, 77-61, to end their first round campaign on a high note.

“Big win for us,” said NU head coach Jeff Napa. “Madadala namin ito for the second round.”

The Bulldogs opened the game with an 11-0 run, and eventually limited the Red Warriors to only nine points in the first quarter, 22-9. NU never looked back, with their lead ballooning up to 30, 62-32, off a Jolo Manansala bucket.

Michael Malonzo had a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds, along with a block for NU. John Lloyd Clemente added another 12 markers that boosted the Bulldogs for a 4-3 slate for solo fourth place.

On the other hand, UE remained winless after losing all seven matches in the first round. Kyle Paranada paced the Red Warriors with 12 points and three steals in an attempt for that first win, but to no avail.


The De La Salle University (DLSU) escaped the gritty Adamson University (AdU), 61-58, for a winning streak to end the first round.

The Soaring Falcons was up by eight, when the Green Archers awakened from their slumber to respond with an 11-2 run to bank on a one-point lead, 56-55, 51.4 seconds remaining.

Evan Nelle shot a booming triple to extend La Salle’s lead by four, 59-55, but Keith Zaldivar answered back a triple for Adamson to keep them close, 58-59, 10.4 seconds left in the game.

Joaqui Manuel drained two free throws to keep the Green Archers afloat. Zaldivar attempted to score for Adamson, but Justine Baltazar blocked him as time expired.

“I think we lost focus when we got the 10-point lead,” said La Salle head coach Derrick Pumaren. “We battled down on defense. We made stops. We got the lead and Evan hit the big three-point shot with the game on the line.”

Manuel led La Salle with 14 points and six rebounds, while Nelle had 12 markers on 4-of-5 shooting. La Salle is now at 5-2 for third spot in the team standings.

Jerom Lastimosa had 15 points and seven assists, while Lenda Douanga added an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double on top of three blocks, as Adamson ended the first round at seventh with a 1-6 win-loss record.

UST vs Ateneo

ADMU whipped the University of Santo Tomas (UST), 91-80, to stay undefeated in the first round of the basketball tournament.

The Blue Eagles went on a 14-4 run to keep a 16-point lead, 50-34, at the half. The Growling Tigers did not easily back down, and opened the third quarter with a 9-0 blast to cut its deficit to seven, 43-50.

However, Ateneo proved too strong for UST. The defending champions was able to rebuild their 16-point advantage entering the fourth, 74-58, and cruised to victory from there.

“UST has always been like that,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “We gave up 80 points. That’s a little bit too much for us. We’re happy we came out with a win.”

Tyler Tio led Ateneo with a career-high 20 points, while BJ Andrande added 10 markers, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

Sherwin Concepcion paced UST with 22 points, and seven rebounds as they finished the first round to a 2-5 win-loss record.


UP finished strong in the first round after defeating Far Eastern University (FEU), 83-76.

Xyrus Torres and Ljay Gonzales scored back-to-back baskets to keep the Tamaraws close within two, 74-76, 1:24 left in the game.

But Fighting Maroons Carl Tamayo and Joel Cagulangan answered back with their own baskets to keep a six-point lead, 80-74. With only 14.4 ticks remaining, Ricci Rivero sealed the win for UP with a booming triple.

“I guess yung tempo nung first half hindi favorable sa amin, so we tried to force them to play an up-tempo game, which opened up things for us in transition,” said UP coach Goldwin Monteverde. “Yung defense, kahit papano, nung second half mas maganda naman.”

Zavier Lucero led UP with a double-double 27 points and 12 rebounds, along with three steals, and a block. Tamayo added 12 markers, four boards, and two blocks.

This is UP’s sixth consecutive win for a 6-1 slate for solo second.

Gonzales paced FEU with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Emmanuel Ojuola had a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double as they dropped to fifth place with a 3-4 record.

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