Ahead of showdown with Mbala, Ateneo bigs' match-up with Nzeusseu beneficial says Arespacochaga

G-Boy Babilonia showcased his passing skill ahead of Ateneo's match with La Salle. (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Ateneo's Friday night clash with Lyceum in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup turned out to be a buildup for their big men for their anticipated match against La Salle on Sunday.

Two nights before the bigs get to take on Ben Mbala in the battle in the paint, they tried to size up against Harry Nzeusseu, who like Mbala came from a CESAFI team.

The former UV Green Lancer made an impression, tallying 16 points, ten rebounds, and one block, while G-Boy Babilonia, Kris Porter, Isaac Go, and Chibueze Ikeh struggled to score against him.

But for Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga, matching up against Nzeusseu is of great help.

"[Nzeusseu's] very good, but it was a very good opportunity for our bigs because we're gonna go up against more very good big guys. We're looking forward to the challenge for our big guys, because our big guys will be the key for our performance in the UAAP. We're happy that our bigs continue to improve," said Arespacochaga to sportswriters after the Blue Eagles beat the Pirates.

It was the guards and wingers who took charge for Ateneo as Thirdy Ravena got 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Tyler Tio added ten points on 3-of-7 shooting even as Aaron Black and Bryaron Allmond produced scoring impressions.

Forced to play facilitator due to Nzeusseu's presence, Babilonia displayed brilliance in the passing game by dishing out six assists.

"We got some good performances from some of the other players. They continue to improve and learn, and that's the most important thing," Arespacochaga added.

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