Posted Aug 18th 2014
Eagles go for 4-0 start
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 26th 2014
How about a 4-0 start?
Pretty ambitious to some, but that won’t be far off Ateneo de Manila University’s radar when the Eagles return flight today for their fourth straight win in the 77th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The league-leading Eagles seek to keep their unbeaten record intact when they play National University (NU) in the 4 p.m. main game.
Ateneo is coming off an 86-75 whipping of a hard-fighting University of the Philippines last Wednesday behind explosive team up of King Eagle Kiefer Ravena, Chris Newsome and rookie Arvin Tolentino.
Ravena scored 19 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists while Newsome added 18 and 12 boards.
But it was Tolentino, the sweet-shooting slotman out of San Beda, who provided the loudest explosion for the Eagles, registering a game-high 20 points to cap his finest game so far in an Ateneo uniform.
“Coming into the game, we knew that we'd have a problem with UP. If not for the timely heroics of Arvin and Kiefer, we would have been in trouble,” Ateneo coach Bo Perasol said after the Eagles secured their third straight victory.
Against the Bulldogs, who dropped a close 55-57 result to defending champion De La Salle University last Wednesday, the Eagles are again in for some rough sailing.
“Coach Eric (Altamirano) has a good system. They have bigger and more experienced players so they will be very tough for us,” Berasol said of the Bulldogs, who fell to 2-1.
Despite their previous lost, the Bulldogs remain a killer bunch with a solid mix of athleticism, height, and experience typified by the likes of Gelo Alolino, Troy Rosario, Glen Khobuntin, and Alfred Aroga.
Constantly mugged in the paint by La Salle’s big men, Aroga still wound up a near double-double effort of 12 points and nine rebounds, plus two blocks, while Rosario dished out ten markers and eight caroms.
Pitted against the smaller Ateneo frontline, NU’s big will surely have a relatively easier time imposing their will underneath the basket.
Yet the wings may not be as friendly to the Bulldogs, given the presence of Ravena, Newsome, Tolentiono and Von Pessumal who are all expected to man the guns for Ateneo from the perimeter and beyond.
The game will air live at 4 p.m. on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23, BALLS HD SkyCable 167, uaapsports.tv, iwantv.com, TFC Bro and tfc.tv with a same day replay at 11 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.