SAN JUAN City – Ateneo de Manila University became the first team to advance to the semifinal round of the 2016 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup after clamping down on University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta, 68-59, Tuesday (June 7) at the San Juan Arena. The Blue Eagles held the Altas without a field goal for almost a crucial nine-minute span in the fourth period as they rallied from a 26-31 halftime deficit.
AJ Coronel opened the fourth with a layup to tie the score for the last time, 48-48. That was the cue for Ateneo to 11-2 run behind Chibueze Ikeh and Aaron Black, pegging the count at 59-50 with 3:45 to play.
The Altas did not help their own cause by shooting poorly from the free throw line, going seven out of 13 attempts. Ikeh put the exclamation point on the victory by erecting the Blue Eagles’ biggest lead at the 47-second mark, 66-55.
“Despite the many ups and downs we had, we are happy to play again and get another learning opportunity,” said Coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “The players responded to our challenge and they played well on defense and shot the ball well.”
Adrian Wong led Ateneo with 13 points and five assists. Ikeh added 12 points and eight rebounds while Anton Asistio also had 12 points and three assists.
Bright Akhuetie had a double-double by halftime with 12 points and 12 rebounds but disappeared in the second half with only three points and three rebounds more. Flash Sadiwa and Prince Eze backed him up with nine markers each.
Up next for the Blue Eagles in the semifinals on Friday (June 10) is the winner of the quarterfinal game between UAAP rivals De La Salle University and Far Eastern University. “We look forward to playing the defending champions and the early favorite for this year’s UAAP and it will be a good game,” said Coach Arespacochaga in parting.
How They Scored:
ATENEO DE MANILA (68) – A. Wong 13, Asistio 12, Ikeh 12, Black 8, Tolentino 4, Go 4, Babilonia 4, Mendoza 3, Ravena 2, Allmond 2, Ma Nieto 2, Porter 2, Banzon 0.
PERPETUAL HELP (59) – Akhuetie 15, Sadiwa 9, Eze 9, Coronel 7, Dagangon 6, Yuhico 5, Singontiko 4, Ylagan 3, Pido 1, Dizon 0, Lucente 0, Mangalino 0.
Period Scores: 11-13, 26-31, 48-46, 68-59.