By: Anton C. Onato
MANILA -The Fighting Maroons suffered yet again a loss today after an onslaught in the payoff period from the Blue Eagles, 75-86, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Dubbed as the Battle of Katipunan, Kiefer Ravena delivered the goods for the Eagles in the last quarter, while rookie Arvin Tolentino put up a career game to help his team down the hard-fighting Maroons.
Tolentino, a highly-touted rookie from the San Beda Red Cubs, scored 20 points leading the Ateneo squad. Ravena added 19 points while Newsome chipped in 18.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao tallied 16 points with an impressive 89% shooting efficiency. JR Gallarza had 10 points to his name.
“Our defense was actually good in the beginning. We were able to defend Kiefer and other Ateneo gunmen, but fell short later,” said Lao.
Madrid, however, was not happy with the outcome of the game. He said his team could have won the game if not of the turnovers they committed at endgame.
“I’m not actually happy with the loss. I think we can match them up better. It’s just that we committed a lot of turnovers at endgame,” Madrid said.
UP came close at the third quarter cutting the lead to 2, 49-51, at the 4:38 via Lao’s lay-up. Ateneo countered back with a 12-0 run behind Tolentino’s perimeter shots and keep the Maroons at bay for good, 66-54.
The Maroons went berserk and scored seven unanswered points to come within eight points early in the fourth period. But Tolentino made another crucial play, giving the Eagles a 69-58 cushion.
The Maroons made one last route, striking within 4 with 4:47 remaining with a Gallarza trey to no avail as they sent Ateneo on charities, 73-67. Turnovers also added to the Fighting Maroons troubles from completing a comeback, with a Nico Elorde basket off a steal would seal the deal for the Eagles.
This loss stretches UP’s losing ways to 24 dating back to August 19, 2012 where they last won against UE. They will face FEU on Sunday at the MOA Arena for their fourth game of the season.