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Ateneo gets past UST in close encounter

Aaron Black and Ateneo come up with a win in a virtual see-saw encounter.
By Kevin Estrada

QUEZON CITY--Ateneo overcame a see-saw battle with season's host Sto. Tomas to register their first win of the UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament in the second of the opening day doubleheader at the Araneta Coliseum late Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore Aaron Black showed that the Blue Eagles can move on sans Kiefer Ravena, firing in 23 points to go along with seven boards and four dimes in a close encounter, 73-69. Returning guard Thirdy Ravena poured in a double-double of 17 markers and 11 rebounds to give Gilas mentor Tab Baldwin a rousing debut into the collegiate game.

The Growling Tigers had 21 from senior Louie Vigil and 12 from freshman Jam Macasaet as they kept the game close in the first thirty minutes, before Ateneo pulled away  in the fourth to drop their opening game of the season.

In a testament to the closeness of the game, the lead had been switched sides 18 times and were tied for 14 more as both teams were at deadlock heading into the break.

It was a close contest all throughout the game right until the fourth, when Ateneo ignited a 7-0 start to extend their one-point lead to eight in the first three minutes and were led by as much as 14 in the latter part of the pay-off period to kill any UST attempts to come back.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada