Ateneo prevails over tough Barotac Viejo in NBTC-Iloilo leg

Ateneo center Meg Alaurin dishes a pass to an open shooter (Leobert Julian A. de la Peña)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Ateneo de Iloilo Blue Dragons overcame a tough and resilient Barotac Viejo National High School squad, 65-56, on the second day of the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Iloilo qualifiers.

The Barotac squad surprised and caught the Blue Dragons off-guard with their sharp-shooting display that led to a deadlocked first quarter, 14 all.

However, the Ateneo defense quickly adjusted to a 1-2-2 zone to counter the Barotac shooters as the second quarter started.

Gaining their grip on the game, the Blue Dragons then began to surge and attacked the Barotac interior at will using their size advantage.

Ateneo then began to control the paint the rest of the game by exposing Barotac’s smaller frontcourt, putting them in foul trouble as they pounded their way inside.

Barotac tried to mount a comeback with under five minutes remaining in the last frame by cutting the Ateneo lead to just five but the Blue Dragons converted timely drives to pull away with the victory.