Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga
Text by Jedd Pagaduan

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons received a rude wake-up call, getting blown out by the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 92-71, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday.

UP started out slow, trailing 12-4 early in the game. The Fighting Maroons fought back to tie the game at 16 but by the end of the quarter, Ateneo nailed two straight treys to lead by 6.

With Ibrahim Quattara sitting out the second quarter due to foul trouble, Ateneo capitalized by attacking the paint and crashing the offensive glass.

Disparity in second chance points and rebounding were too much for State U as they trailed by eight at the half, 44-36.

After the break, Ateneo continued to penetrate the inside, led by Thirdy Ravena’s nine points in the quarter. Fouls and poor offensive possessions continued to plague State U, killing off any hope of a comeback. The Blue Eagles remained in control to end the third, 62-51.

During the fourth, the Blue Eagles started to blow the game wide open, with Ateneo rookie Tyler Tio scoring eight straight points to increase their lead to 19.

The Blue Eagles were never in too much trouble in the game and held on for a wire to wire victory, defeating the Fighting Maroons by 21, handing the team its first loss.

“That was a rude awakening”, coach Bo Perasol said. “More than anything else, we got out of focus.”

UP lost the battle on the offensive glass, 12-18, leading to a 24 point advantage for the Blue Eagles in second chance points. The Fighting Maroons also had more turnovers (20-17) while handing out less assists (11-8) than the Katipunan squad.

“That’s one thing we need to improve, getting rebounds and just lessen our turnovers.” Fighting Maroon Juan Gomez de Liano said.

The younger Gomez de Liano led State U in scoring with 16 points on 6/14 shooting, while starting point guard Jun Manzo chipped in 14. Paul Desiderio, the hero of Sunday’s matchup, shot a mere 4/18 from the field. Ravena led the way for the Blue Eagles with 16 points.

“It’s not even about the loss, it’s about how we lost the game”, Perasol said. “Move on na lang kaagad. We need to make sure they understand that we played lousily, and we paid for it. We lost badly but it happens. We move on to Sunday, and we have to have a better game.”

UP looks to bounce back against the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors on Sunday, September 17.


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