Eaglets soar past Cubs, extend win run
MANILA, Philippines — Unblemished Ateneo picked up from where it left off in the first round and routed University of Santo Tomas, 78-54, for its eighth straight win in the UAAP Season 80 junior’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
The Blue Eaglets clamped down on MVP frontrunner CJ Cansino, limiting the high-scoring swingman to 16 points – 11 off his average – to show the Cubs who’s the boss in front of a UST crowd that included new Tigers coach Aldin Ayo.
Dave Ildefonso took the scoring cudgels for the Eaglets with 20 to go with seven rebounds and three assists while SJ Belangel added 13 markers and six boards and towering Kai Sotto had 12 caroms, 11 points and five blocks.
The Eaglets actually started slow and trailed by eight early on but settled down and used a 22-9 second quarter to pull away.
Defense played a big part as Ateneo held Cansino to a 6-of-20 shooting, his last seven actually coming when the result was already beyond doubt.
One of the top prospects for college, Cansino admitted his parents already talked with Ayo regarding his collegiate plans with the rebuilding Tigers.
UST absorbed its third loss in eight outings for third place behind National U, which improved to 6-2 after an 86-81 squeaker over defending champion Far Eastern Diliman. The Baby Tams slipped to 4-5.
Michael Malonzo provided the end game heroics as he scored five points and made one crucial interception in the last seven seconds to help NU extricate from an 81-81 standoff.
Meanwhile, La Salle Zobel bested University of the East, 93-74, for its third win against five losses.