Ateneo de Manila University crushes UST by 50 in UAAP men’s basketball

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THE Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles mercilessly destroyed the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, 101-51, to capture a ticket in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament on Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The winning margin is the largest one the league has had since the documentation of stats way back in 2003. Before the Blue Eagles’ 50-point win, the largest margin of victory was 43 points when La Salle won over UST, 99-56, on October 23, 2016.

"I think the difference in the scoreline is a reflection that our coaching staff asked for 40 minutes of performance from our players, and that's something that's plagued us this year," said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.

The writing was already on the wall as early as the first half when Ateneo went up by 25, 46-21. Ateneo then took it up a notch in the third quarter, outscoring the Growling Tigers, 34-15, for a 44-point lead heading into the final frame, 80-36.

Raffy Verano led the balanced Blue Eagles offense with 18 points and seven rebounds and went a plus-37 on the floor.

SJ Belangel dropped 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting from deep to go with five assists, while Geo Chiu added 14 points and eight rebounds in his best performance in the collegiate level.

The Blue Eagles remained unblemished at 10-0 and continued their UAAP winning streak which now stands at 36 games.

This is Ateneo's seventh-straight Final Four appearance with Season 76 the last time it missed the postseason.

Nic Cabañero was the lone UST cager in double digits with 18 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, going 8-of-16.

The Growling Tigers slid to seventh place at 3-7. (JNP)

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