Pessumal waxes hot as Eagles extend streak

MANILA, Philippines -- Von Pessumal got things going with his torrid shooting then Kiefer Ravena delivered the finishing touches as Ateneo drubbed University of the East, 77-72, to race to its third straight win in the UAAP Season 78 men's basketball tourney Saturday at the MOA Arena.

Pessumal rifled in a career-high-tying 21 markers spiked by six triples off 10 tries, while Ravena flirted with a near-triple double of 15 markers, nine rebounds and nine assists as the Eagles improved to 3-1 after dropping their opening assignment.

The Warriors saw their own two-game streak snapped and slipped to an even 2-2 card.

"This was a tough win because this was our third game in seven days; it's specifically tough for Kiefer and Von because they get the heaviest minutes in our plays. Although they were tired, Kiefer nearly had a triple-double and Von, for the first time, hit his shots from the outside," said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol.

Struggling with a 3-of-19 clip from beyond the arc in the first three outings, Pessumal suddenly caught fire and nailed his first five tries from the area. He scored 15 in the second quarter alone, leading the Eagles to a 43-33 lead at the turn. AdMu had its biggest margin at 52-35 early in the third.

"I think I had my worst shooting in the first three games of this season, but coach, Kiefer and my teammates told me to stay confident and keep on shooting. So I did that and good thing, naka-shoot ako," said Pessumal.

The Warriors, with foul-saddled Bonbon Batiller returning to action, unleashed a major rally to go to within 68-71 with still 50 seconds left.

Ravena then decided to take over, hitting a stepback jumper and two freethrows in a 6-2 closeout that sealed it for AdMU.

After their 24-point blowout loss to Far Eastern on opening weekend, the Eagles racked up three straight victories to vault into second spot at presstime.

"I'm delighted where we are right now but we know that we have much to do," said Perasol, whose wards will have a week's rest before returning back to the court against University of Santo Tomas.
Batiller paced UE with 19 .

The Scores:

AdMU 77 - Pessumal 21, Ravena 15, Gotladera 9, Ikeh 8, Apacible 6, Ma. Nieto 5, Wong 5, Babilonia 4, Black 2, Capacio 2, Cani 0, Pingoy 0, M. Tolentino 0.

UE 72 - Batiller 19, Javier 17, Abanto 6, Charcos 5, Derige 5, Palma 5, Varilla 5, de Leon 4, Yu 4, Sta. Ana 2, Gagate 0, Gonzalez 0,  Manalang 0.

Quarterscores: 15-17, 43-33, 63-50, 77-72. 

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