Thirdy Ravena, ADMU | UAAP PHOTO

ATENEO stood on top of archrival La Salle with an 81-69 win last Sunday at the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament last Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Seniors Mike and Matt Nieto were instrumental in the Blue Eagles win thanks to a 28-point second quarter that gave the boys from Katipunan a 51-29 halftime lead after just holding a tight two-point lead, 30-28, early in the period.

Mike led Ateneo with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while twin brother Matt added 15 points and three boards for the 2-0 Ateneo.

Gian Mamuyac also made his presence felt late, fending off La Salle after it got to within eight in the payoff period, burying timely buckets in the last three minutes before finishing with a career-best 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

“I think that break we had at the end of the second quarter was a surprise to us and it was a surprise for them, and in the end, it was the cushion I think that we depended on in the second half,” said coach Tab Baldwin.

Ivorian center Ange Kouame was also happy to do the dirty work on the defensive end with his 19 rebounds and five blocks that overshadowed his measly six points.

“This is a typical Ateneo-La Salle game. It was tough every step of the way,” sighed Baldwin, whose wards joined UST atop the standings at 2-0 before their face-off on Wednesday.

Jamie Orme-Malonzo led the Green Archers with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists, highlighted by his slam dunk over Thirdy Ravena in the first quarter.

Andrei Caracut contributed 14 points on a 3-of-6 shooting from threes, while Justine Baltazar tallied a double-double with his 10 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. (PressOnePH)

The Scores:

ATENEO:       81 — Mi. Nieto 18, Ma. Nieto 15, Mamuyac 14, Navarro 8, Andrade 6, Kouame 6, Ravena 6, Tio 4, Belangel 2, Go 2, Daves 0, Maagdenberg 0.

LA SALLE:    69 — Malonzo 18, Caracut 14, Baltazar 10, Serrano 8, Melecio 7, Lojera 6, Manuel 6, Bartlett 0, Bates 0, Cagulangan 0, Cu 0, Hill 0, Meeker 0, Pado 0.

Quarterscores: 23-21, 51-29, 66-50, 81-69.