MANILA, Philippines – Despite fielding just 9 players, the Ateneo Blue Eagles downed the San Beda Red Lions, 74-62, to force a winner-take-all semifinals in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) at the Ynares Sports Arena on Thursday, January 24.
Ateneo big man Isaac Go showed up and finished with a game-high 28 points on a 7-of-12 (58%) shooting from downtown to go with 10 rebounds for a double-double finish in Game 2 of the semifinal series.
The knockout duel between the UAAP champions and the NCAA kings is set Saturday with the winner earning the right to face CESAFI rulers UV Green Lancers.
From just a three-point lead early in the 4th, Ateneo drained 4 straight long bombs for a sudden 13-point lead, 63-50, midway through the quarter.
San Beda tried to make one last run, but could not stop the hot-shooting Go, who nailed 4 of his 7 total threes in the payoff period.
Stand-in point guard Tyler Tio also delivered for the Blue Eagles with 18 markers on a 7-of-11 (63%) clip.
Up-and-coming swingman James Canlas paced the Red Lions with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists while Clint Doliguez added 14 markers and 6 boards in the loss.
Although they barely managed to complete a five-man roster to start the contest, Ateneo eventually got 4 bench reinforcements to start the 2nd quarter, led by two-time UAAP Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena.
It immediately paid dividends as the Eagles started the frame with a 9-0 run, 25-18, ending with a BJ Andrade layup at the 7:33 mark. They would then hold on to a 10-point gap by halftime, 38-28.
Ateneo 74 – Go 28, Tio 18, Ravena 11, Wong 10, Andrade 3, Credo 3, Belangel 1, Mendoza 0, Berjay 0.
San Beda 62 – Canlas 24, Doliguez 14, Oftana 13, Tankoua 8, Etrata 2, Nelle 1, Soberano 0, Abuda 0, Carino 0, Alfaro 0, Cuntapay 0, Obenza 0, Visser 0.
Quarters: 16-18, 38-28, 51-44, 74-62.