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Kiefer double-double powers sluggish Ateneo past UP

By Josiah Albelda Posted Aug 15th 2013

At one point, it seemed that Ateneo de Manila University would receive yet another big blow to its six-peat hopes.

Fortunately for the reigning champions, they woke up just in time to foil an upset bid by an upstart University of the Philippines squad with a 67-59 victory in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Blue Eagles started well, but immediately stepped off the gas pedal to allow the Fighting Maroons to build a 33-22 lead late in the second quarter.

But Ateneo showed why it has been the top team in the last half-decade by plastering UP with unforgiving defense in the second half.

The Eagles outscored the Maroons, 45-20, in a 23-minute stretch from the second quarter to the last 30 seconds of the game, when they buried the Diliman five in a 67-53 hole after a Nico Elorde basket.

"We came out a little sluggish," admitted Chris Newsome, who had 11 points and five rebounds. "But we were able to pull through as a team."

The win allowed Ateneo to even their card at 4-4 while also sending UP slumping to its eighth straight loss.

Kiefer Ravena dazzled with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three steals while Juami Tiongson added 11 markers and five boards.

"If there is one thing that brought the better of us, it is that attitude that we never give up," said Eagles coach Bo Perasol. "But generally, we could be better."

Sam Marata paced UP with 15 markers.

The scores::

Ateneo (67) - Ravena 14, Tiongson 11, Newsome 11, Buenafe 7, Golla 6, Erram 6, Elorde 4, Capacio 4, Tolentino 2, Pessumal 2, Murphy 0, Enriquez 0, Asistio 0

UP (59) - Marata 15, Lao 9, Asilum 8, Wong 5, Soyud 5, Gingerich 4, Desiderio 4, Pascual 3, Gallarza 3, Ligad 2, Ball 1

Quarters: 14-21, 33-34, 53-47, 67-59