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Ateneo sizzles late to take down gritty UE for 6-0 slate

Gian Mamuyac sparked Ateneo's endgame strike on UE. UAAP Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Ateneo moved to within a win of sweeping the first round of the UAAP men's basketball tournament after trumping the University of the East, 94-72, in Matchday 6 action on Thursday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

However, while the result was a rout by definition, it was not really a total dominance from the still undefeated Blue Eagles as the winless Red Warriors actually threatened to pull off a massive upset early into this top-versus-bottom battle.

What everyone expected to be a smooth cruise for Ateneo turned out to be a tight one for the first 25 minutes of the game as UE put up a gallant fight and even led by five at some points of the match, the last at 53-48 midway through the third quarter.

But the Blue Eagles finished the third on a 17-2 run to take a 65-55 advantage and finally pulled away after a 29-17 fourth quarter.

Gian Mamuyac and Ange Kouame each scored 21 points with the Gilas Pilipinas naturalized center completing a double-double with 13 rebounds for the now 6-0 Ateneo, which can complete the sweep on Saturday against the University of Santo Tomas.

Mamuyac came close to his own double-double as he grabbed nine boards of his own as Ateneo has now won 32 straight games since 2018.

Kyle Paranada and Harvey Pagsanjan each tallied 15 markers for UE, which fell to 0-6.

The team can avert a winless first round if it deposes National University in the first game of the Saturday quadruple-header.

The Scores:

Ateneo (94) -- Mamuyac 21, Kouame 21, Ildefonso 12, Belangel 12, Daves 6, Gomez 5, Tio 4, Koon 4, Chiu 4, Mendoza 3, Lazaro 2, Padrigao  0, Andrade 0, Mallillin 0.

UE (72) -- K. Paranada 15, Pagsanjan 15, Escamis 8, N. Paranada 8, Guevarra 6, Antiporda 6, J. Cruz 4, Lorenzana 4, Catacutan 4, Beltran 2, Abatayo 0, Sawat 0, Villanueva 0, Tulabut 0, P. Cruz 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 15-15, 39-39, 65-55, 94-72

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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