Nobody said it was going to be easy. The road to the top is hard and a lot of people will be looking up to bring you down. That was what the Ateneo Blue Eagles got when the National University Bulldogs beat the Blue Eagles 76 – 66. Five Bulldogs stamped their class on the Blue Eagles by scoring in double figures in what must the best game that the Bulldogs played offensively. Known as a defensive team the Bulldogs shoot 90 % in the first quarter and ended up scoring their most points of the season in this game. The Bulldogs opened up a 22 – 4 first quarter lead and never looked back to score the victory.
Chris Newsome jumper
African behemoth Alfred Aroga led the Bulldogs with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Not only did the Hulking Aroga made it hard for the Ateneo centers, his intimidating presence alone made it hard for the Men in Blue to penetrate the Bulldogs defense as he swatted away 8 shots, the most since Arwind Santos in 2005. Troy Rosario scored 14 points, Glenn Khobuntin added 12 points and 5 rebounds, Nico Javelona sank two triples enroute to 12 points and 5 assists while lead point guard Gelo Alolino scattered 13 points, had 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Aroga went 7 of 10 (70%) from the field, Rosario was 6 of 8 (75%) while Javelona was 4 of 6 (67%) and Glenn Khobuntin 4 of 8 (50%). Only Alolino had a bad shooting day 6 of 16 (38%). The scoring itself was the story of the game.
Kiefer Ravena had his usual numbers, 18 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 turnovers in 33 minutes of action. Chris Newsome ably backed up Kiefer with 12 points and 7 rebounds with Ponso Gotladera showing up once again by scoring 11 points, 8 in the fourth quarter that saw the Blue Eagles bring down the lead to five points 55 – 60 with six minutes remaining in the ballgame. Unfortunately the Bulldogs responded with a paralyzing 12 – 2 run that more that shattered the hearts of the Blue Eagles.
The Eagles are now tied with NU for second place at 7 wins and three losses, behind them is defending champion DLSU and FEU with similar 7 -2 slates, the two teams dispute the solo first lead on Wednesday. The Blue Eagles on the other hand will have UST, UP, Adamson and FEU remaining in their schedule. This is a good chance for the Eagles to hone their defense and sharpen their offense if they are to advance to the Final Four. Ten games among the top 6 teams will determine the final seedings of this year’s UAAP so stay tuned.
National University (76)
Aroga 15, Rosario 14, Alolino 13, Javelona 12, Khobuntin 11, Diputado 6, Alejandro 3, Neypes 2, Betayene 0, Atangan 0,
Ateneo de Manila University (66)
K. Ravena 18, Newsome 12, Gotladera 11, Pessumal 8, Elorde 7, Capacio 4, Babilonia 4, Doliguez 2, A. Tolentino 0, V. Tolentino 0, Porter 0
24 – 14, 42 – 30, 60 – 47, 76 - 66