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Blue Eaglets secure Final Four berth after downing Baby Tams

By Ivan Saldajeno

Ateneo needed an early rally and another late in its game against FEU-FERN to secure the first UAAP juniors' basketball semifinal berth with a 78-52 win at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.

The Blue Eaglets raced to a 21-2 lead late in the first quarter and were on track to easily depose the Baby Tamaraws.

But the Baby Tams battled back and came to within seven, 42-35, early into the third quarter.

It turned out to be FEU-FERN's final push as Ateneo rebuilt the huge margin and never looked back.

Matt Nieto led the Blue Eaglets with 20 points, three rebounds, three assists, and a steal. His twin brother Mike added 12 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Shaun Ildefonso also had impressive numbers of 11 points and nine rebounds.

Wendell Comboy had 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a block for the Baby Tamaraws.

Box Scores:

Ateneo 78-Ma. Nieto 20, Mendoza 13, Mi. Nieto 12, Ildefonso 11, Mamuyac 9, Joson 4, Ramos 4, Salandanan 3, Gatmaitan 2, Eustaquio 0, Andrade 0, Hassan 0, Bernardo 0, Termoso 0, Rosales 0

FEU-FERN 52-Comboy 12, Lee 11, Peromingan 11, Fajarito 4, Bienes 4, Aquino 4, Longalong 2, Ibanez 2, Pineda 2, Lloren 0, Cuasay 0

Quarterscores: 26-11, 37-25, 56-44, 78-52