MANILA – The Ateneo Blue Eaglets powered through a sluggish first quarter and eventually crushed University of Santo Tomas, 78-54, to stay undefeated in the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball tournament on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Blue Eaglets trailed by five, 18-13, at the end of the opening period. But they went on to limit the Tiger Cubs to only nine points in the second frame to take a 35-27 lead heading into the halftime break.
Ateneo never looked back from there, as they went on to cruise to their eighth consecutive victory in the tournament.
Dave Ildefonso led the Blue Eaglets in scoring, as he fired 20 points while SJ Belangel came through with an all-around effort of 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Jason Credo had 12 points, six boards, and four assists.
Kai Sotto and Joaqui Manuel both produced 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Eaglets, with the towering Sotto adding five blocks.
UST's CJ Cansino, the leading MVP candidate at the end of the first round, had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists in a losing effort.
National University rose to solo second place in the league standings after downing defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman, 86-81, with Rhayyan Amsali scoring 21 points.
Adamson University, meanwhile, overwhelmed UP Integrated School, 76-58.
The Bullpups improved to 6-2, a game ahead of the No. 3 Tiger Cubs (5-3). The Baby Tamaraws fell into a tie with the Baby Falcons in fourth place, with both teams toting 4-4 win-loss slates.
The UAAP on Friday officially forfeited NU's opening day 107-69 victory over University of the East, as the Bullpups had fielded a player who did not meet the league's eligibility requirements.
Chris Calimag and Rogil Carlos teamed up for 42 points as De La Salle-Zobel overpowered the Junior Warriors, 93-74, for its third win in eight contests.
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