The Ateneo Blue Eagles earned their second victory of UAAP Season 80 with an impressive 92-71 win over the UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
And the story of the game was the revelation of rookie point guard Tyler Tio.
With the Eagles holding on to a slim 62-51 lead to start the fourth period, Tio broke the game wide open with a barrage of buckets. The former Xavier high school standout poured in 10 straight points, including two triples to help Ateneo pull away.
Tio ended up with 14 points with a perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the field in just 11 minutes of play. Thirdy Ravena top-scored for the Eagles with 16 points to go alongside six rebounds.
“It was a very good performance considering that it’s his first game, a little bit rusty coming from the injury,” coach Sandy Arespacochaga said. “He played his game and we needed him to play well. Last game it was Jolo (Mendoza) who played well for us, now it’s Tyler. We’re very happy for Tyler, and his other teammates are very happy for him.”
Tio, who’s in his second year in Ateneo, was unable to suit up for the Blue Eagles last year due to citizenship issues. He also didn’t play in Ateneo’s first game against the Adamson Falcons this season because of an ankle sprain.
For the Fighting Maroons, it was a pair of rookies that led them in scoring. Juan Gomez de Liano had 16 points and seven rebounds while Jun Manzo chipped in with 14. Paul Desiderio, the hero from their last game, had a forgetful shooting performance going 4-for-18 from the field for only nine points.
“One of the things that Coach Tab (Baldwin) said at halftime was we needed to play better defense and we needed to take care of the ball more,” Arespacochaga explained. “They shot 44% from the field in the first half, we brought that down to 37% so that’s a big improvement.”
Aside from UP’s poor shooting in the second half, they were also outrebounded, 51-38, that led to their demise.
Ateneo improves to 2-0 to start the season while UP settles for 1-1.
Earlier, the FEU Tamaraws notched their first win of the season by beating the UE Red Warriors, 90-83.
It was a balanced attack for the Tamaraws with five players reaching double-figures. Ron Dennison led the way with 15 points followed by a double-double from Prinze Orizu with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
“It always gives you satisfaction when you win, lalo na [it’s] our first of the season, and my first one as the coach,” said Olsen Racela, who’s in his first year at the head coaching position in FEU.
The Tamaraws got the jump on the Warriors in the early goings as they enjoyed a 30-11 edge at the start of the second period. The Warriors tried to mount a comeback courtesy of Clark Derige who tallied 22 points and an all-around game from Alvin Pasaol with 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
FEU’s lead was trimmed to just seven points, 80-73, with a Mark Olayon bucket midway through the fourth period. The Tamaraws were able to pull away thanks to crucial baskets by Dennison.
“Pero medyo malayo pa kami kung saan namin gusto pumunta. We still have a lot of things to take care of,” Racela pointed out. “Buti na lang, andito itong anchor ng depensa namin. We’re giving away too many penetrations on defense, buti na lang, andoon si Prince (Orizu) sumalo lahat ng mga duma-drive sa kalaban. Again, we need to improve on a lot of things.”
FEU hope to carry the momentum from their first win when they take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles next Sunday.
FEU 90 – Dennison 16, Orizu 15, Escoto 11, Ebona 11, Tolentino 11, Inigo 8, Ramirez 7, Parker 4, Trinidad 3, Tuffin 2, Comboy 2, Cani 0, Bienes 0
UE 83 – Derige 22, Pasaol 13, Acuno 8, Abanto 8, Manalang 6, Olayon 6, Maloles 6, Varilla 5, Conner 4, Bartolome 3, Cullar 1, Armenion 1, Gagate 0
QUARTER SCORES: 28-11, 52-42, 75-64, 90-83
Ateneo 92 – Ravena 16, Tio 14, Black 9, Ikeh 9, Asistio 7, Nieto Ma. 7, Verano 7, Go 6, Nieto Ma. 5, Porter 4, Mendoza 3, Mamuyac 2, Mallillin 2, Tolentino 1, Andrade 0, White 0
UP 71 – De Liaño Ju. 16, Manzo 14, Lim 10, Desiderio 9, De Liaño Ja. 6, Prado 6, Webb 3, Romero 3, Ouattara 2, Lao 2, Vito 0, Harris 0, Dario 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 22-16, 44-36, 62-51, 92-71