Ateneo, La Salle stay on top after a battle of the top four teams

DLSU Green Archers 80 – AdU Soaring Falcons 74

The La Salle Green Archers needed a late run to get rid of the Adamson Soaring Falcons. It was a close game, as both teams traded runs that cancelled each other out. In the end, the Green Archers were able to execute their offense and pull out a hard fought win.

Early in the game, the Falcons were clicking over the defending champions. Jonathan Espeleta scored eight straight points as Adamson took a 30-20 lead over La Salle. Th Green Archers got their bearings right before the half ended and pulled even with the Falcons. In the third quarter, it was the Green Archers who went on an 8-2 run to build their own six-point lead. They stayed in the driver’s seat until the last two minutes when Kib Montalbo committed an unsportsmanlike foul that allowed Adamson to retake the lead, 72-71.

La Salle would go on to hit their big shots in the end game. Andrei Caracut hit a big three-pointer to give them back a two-point lead. Then Santi Santillan drove to the hoop, fake Tyrus Hill out of his way and scored on a layup to increase the lead to four. The Falcons missed their tries to get closer and La Salle iced the game from the line.

Ricci Rivero continued to play stellar basketball. He finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Ben Mbala had a 15-point, 17-rebounds double-double and five blocks. Santillan brought the energy and hustle in the third quarter run, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

ADMU Blue Eagles 70 – FEU Tamaraws 59

The Ateneo BLue Eagles looked out of sync early in the game. They fell into a 12-point hole in the first quarter as the FEU Tamaraws ran their crisp offense to perfection early in the game. The Blue Eagles needed a fourth quarter run to overtake the Tamaraws for their 10th straight win.

The Tamaraws were relentless in attacking the basket early in the game. Arvin Tolentino and Ron Dennison got past their defenders and finished close to the baskets as the Blue Eagles looked helpless to stop them. FEU built a 16-4 lead early in the game and settled for a nine-point lead after the first period. Ateneo slowly chipped away at that lead and found themselves down by just five points early in the fourth quarter. That was when the Blue Eagle bench asserted themselves and went on a 15-2 run to take the lead.

Raffy Verano started the run with a layup off a turnover and then two free throws. Aaron Black and Gian Mamuyac scored inside to give Ateneo a three-point lead. Matt Niteo and Chibueze Ikeh followed that up with five points to bring the lead up to eight. Thirdy Ravena who was cold from the field, contributed with a highlight block on Dennison. The Blue Eagles cruised to the win in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

Ateneo scored 23 points in the final period led by a combined 15 points from Matt Nieto and Verano. Their defense also limited FEU to just 9 points in the same span. Nieto and Verano scored 14 points apiece and combined for 10 rebounds and four steals. Ron Dennison led FEU with 12 points.

 

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