Powerhouses Ateneo, UST make quick work of foes in D-League

MANILA, Philippines – Cignal-Ateneo wrapped up its 2019 PBA D-League elimination round campaign with a 102-88 rout of perennial finalists Che'lu Bar and Grill at JCSGO gym in Cubao on Monday, April 29.

The stars were out for the usually-undermanned Blue Eagles, who improved to 8-1, as Thirdy Ravena dropped 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in the win.

Angelo Kouame chipped in an 18-point, 16-board double-double in the win despite 8 turnovers while veteran sniper Adrian Wong added 17 markers off the bench.

After Che'lu got as close as 4 in the 4th quarter courtesy of a Rey Suerte floater, Ateneo shot out with a 15-3 run in the final 3:48 to effectively seal the deal, 93-77.

Things even got chippy with 5:39 left in the 4th when Chris Dumapig was whistled for a flagrant foul penalty 1 for his hit on William Navarro, which escalated to a verbal tussle between Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin and Stephen Siruma.

Although Philip Manalang and Jhaps Bautista got the Revellers within 10, Jolo Mendoza shut the door on them for good with a dagger triple at the 25-second mark for the 102-85 gap.

"I think it got into our heads a little bit and we didn't execute a lot of good basketball actions and it's something we can learn from. I'm just happy that we're able to hold our ground," Baldwin said after the heated affair.

Bautista and Manalang led Che'lu with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Anthony Bringas added 15 markers and 6 boards as Revellers dropped to 3-3 for the season.

Likewise, IronCon-UST strengthened its playoff bid with a 111-90 rout of McDavid.

Although McDavid nearly tripled their point output from an embarrassing 75-point rout at the hands of Ateneo, it was still not enough to stop Soulemane Chabi Yo from leading UST with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists.

Veteran guard Marvin Lee added 17 markers and 8 dimes on a 5-foot-7 shooting from deep in the win. 

The Beninese forward's hot start set the tone for the rout, with him allowing UST to control the boards, 58 to 37, that freed up its shooters as the team buried 16 treys in the blowout.

Still, collegiate champion coach Aldin Ayo is not yet satisfied as his wards climb to 5-1 in the Aspirants Group.

"We're still lacking a lot. We're raw," he said. "We know it will take some time for the players to adapt to [the system], but right now, what we're thinking is how to establish our system."

Rev Diputado and Jason Melano scored 18 apiece as McDavid plummeted to 1-6.

The Scores

Cignal-Ateneo vs Che'lu

Cignal-Ateneo 102 - Ravena 24, Kouame 18, Wong 17, Navarro 12, Mendoza 12, Belangel 8, Go 5, Berjay 4, Mamuyac 2.

Che'lu 88 - Bautista 21, P. Manalang 20, Bringas 15, Suerte 8, Taganas 6, Viernes 4, Collado 4, Dumapig 4, Siruma 3, Gabo 3, Ng 0.

Quarters: 21-14, 48-36, 71-65, 102-88.

IronCon-UST vs McDavid

IronCon-UST 111 - Chabi Yo 25, Lee 17, Abando 13, Paraiso 12, Ando 8, Asuncion 8, Subido 7, Nonoy 6, Pangilinan 5, Herrera 4, Bataller 3, Marcos 3, Yongco 0, Huang 0.

McDavid 90 - Diputado 18, Melano 18, Sorela 13, Lozada 10, Arboleda 9, Gaco 9, Colina 6, Canada 5, Caranguian 2.

Quarters: 29-19, 59-41, 84-68, 111-90.