Ateneo rolls on, tears Adamson streak to pieces; UP sews up No. 2 spot

Zavier Lucero (left) powers UP to a victory that clinched twice-to-beat protection in the Final Four. —UAAP MEDIA

Zavier Lucero (left) powers UP to a victory that clinched twice-to-beat safety within the Final Four. —UAAP MEDIA

When Ateneo and Adamson tipped off their match on Tuesday, one successful streak was certain to come back to an finish. Nobody was kidding themselves whose run was that.

And anyone nonetheless guessing would have reached a conclusion after 10 minutes.

The Blue Eagles force-fed the Falcons with their model of protection, forcing turnovers and limiting their foes’ scoring choices to hammer out a 91-57 blowout at Mall of Asia Arena—a twelfth straight victory that put the defending champions inside two video games of an elimination spherical sweep.

“The second quarter was telling in this game,” stated Tab Baldwin of Ateneo. “Adamson came in prepared and motivated. Tactically they attacked us right from the start and we didn’t expect that.”

Adamson’s shock was exemplified by a three-pointer by Lenda Douanga that gave the Falcons a 15-12 lead late within the first quarter. The Eagles managed only a slim lead on the finish of the primary quarter, producing equally slim hopes that Adamson may protect a four-game successful run.

Instead, the Falcons hurtled again to the bottom with their first defeat within the second spherical for a 5-7 file.

“Until we got some rhythm at the end of the first quarter, it was a contest for sure. But we sort of established the mentality that we are looking for in defense and rebounding,” stated Baldwin.

That protection compelled Adamson into six straight turnovers within the second quarter as Ateneo raced to a 40-24 cushion. The Falcons wound up with 24 errors for the sport. The Blue Eagles? Just seven. That gave Ateneo a 28-4 edge in factors off turnovers and a thirty eighth straight victory courting again to 2018.

Strong bench

Ange Kouame scored 18 factors for Ateneo whereas Matthew Daves highlighted a robust bench efficiency with one other 18 factors.

“Credit to our guards, they just happened to find me at the right place,” stated Daves.

Earlier, University of the Philippines (UP) whipped University of the East, 81-68, for its second straight victory, with Zavier Lucero popping out sturdy with a 20-point, 14-rebound efficiency.

It was the Maroons tenth victory in 12 video games, whereas the Warriors absorbed their twelfth setback in as many video games.

That victory, coupled by Far Eastern U’s upset of La Salle, 67-61, in one other recreation, handed UP the No. 2 spot and armed the Maroons with a twice-to-beat edge within the Final Four, whatever the format. INQ

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