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Ateneo defeats a struggling La Salle in the UAAP

Nov 9, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Blue Eagles made up ground against the Green Archers in their first-round matchup as Ange Kouame came back with a fury, squeezing in 11 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks, and three steals while Chris Koon scored all 11 of his points in the second half.

Ateneo eliminated La Salle from their heated rivalry with a commanding 68-54 victory on Saturday night in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Profiting from the undermanned Archers, the Blue Eagles recovered from a crushing loss to the National University Bulldogs in which Kouame, the league’s reigning MVP, scored just two points. 

The UP Fighting Maroons received an automatic ticket to the Final Four as a result of the Archers’ sixth loss overall in nine games and fourth consecutive loss, while the Blue Eagles rose to sole third place with a record of 6-3. 

The reigning champion Maroons will make their fourth straight appearance in the playoffs. 

After losing MVP front-runner Schonny Winston for the second straight game due to a strained calf and Raven Cortez, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain, the Archers appeared to have managed their personnel problem.

But despite staying up with the fight in the first half, the Blue Eagles’ offensive brilliance proved too much for the Archers to handle in the second. 

As Dave Ildefonso and Vince Gomez made gaps in the La Salle defense, Koon started shooting from a distance and concluded with three triples. By the time the third quarter was up, Ateneo had already surpassed La Salle by 17 points thanks to Rence Padrigao’s triple. 

The Green Archers’ only respite came from Evan Nelle, who finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists after serving a one-game ban. From that point on, it was all downhill for the Green Archers.

Scores at the end of the match

ATENEO with 68 points for the win

Individual Scores: Ildefonso 12, Kouame 11, Ballungay 11, Koon 11, Padrigao 11, Andrade 8, Gomez 2, Chiu 2, Lazaro 0.

LA SALLE with 54 points

Individual Scores: Nelle 15, Nwankwo 7, Quiambao 6, Nonoy 6, Austria 5, Estacio 5, Manuel 4, M. Phillips 3, Abadam 2, Macalalag 1.

Scores per quarter: 10-16, 29-29, 56-39, 68-54.

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