Ateneo asserts mastery over UST in UAAP’s second round

Ateneo cannot be stopped, winning their eighth in a row (UAAP Photo)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Too polished, too dominant.

The Ateneo Blue Eagles displayed another brilliant basketball outing against rival UST Growling Tigers, 66-52, in the second round eliminations of the 2019 UAAP men’s basketball heading into the playoffs.

Coach Aldin Ayo of UST seemed to have no answer for Ateneo’s free-flowing system. Coach Tab Baldwin’s offense has been dominant so far resulting in an unblemished record for the Blue Eagles, winning eight straight games so far.

The Growling Tigers were the only team that put the Blue Eagles through the grinder during their first-round match-up last September, only losing by one point and seemed to have the pace and the players to break down the Ateneo defense.

Coach Baldwin made crucial adjustments in their second outing, going deeper into his bench and employing a small-ball lineup, putting Will Navarro, Thirdy Ravena, and Gian Mamuyac underneath.

This crucial lineup change proved efficient for three to four minutes of action, containing the run-and-gun system of coach Ayo and shutting down UST’s Rhenz Abando, Renz Subido, and Brent Paraiso.

Ateneo just imposed their will offensively, with the likes of Tyler Tio and SJ Belangel dropping huge bombs to help the lead balloon to as much as 16.

The Growling Tigers will go back to the drawing board and will look to spot the crucial turn-around that caused them the game.