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Blue Eagles annihilate Indonesian squad in World University Basketball Series opener

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Blue Eagles annihilate Indonesian squad in World University Basketball Series opener

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ Ateneo tore Indonesia’s Universitas Pelita Harapan into pieces with a resounding 125-39 victory to open the World University Basketball Series Tuesday at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo.

Without anchor Ange Kouame due to injury, the Blue Eagles were still too much for the Indonesians as they took the fight out of their counterparts with a searing 28-6 opening salvo in their first action after the UAAP Season 84.

Ateneo likewise hardly missed the departure of its championship core led by Gian Mamuyac and SJ Belangel as new reinforcements Paul Garcia (17 points) and Kai Balunggay (15) led the way for the wards of coach Tab Baldwin in a mammoth 86-point win.

The Blue Eagles last saw action two months ago in the country’s premier collegiate league, suffering a tough loss at the buzzer to relinquish the UAAP title it held for three seasons against new king University of the Philippines.

Ateneo faces National Chengchi University (NCCU) of Taiwan next today with hopes of staying unbeaten to prime up for a gigantic clash against host Japan.

Japan is parading Tokai University that finished runner-up in the All-Japan Intercollegiate Basketball Championship and won the Kanagawa Prefecture Basketball Championship last season.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s National Chengchi U is the back-to-back champion of University Basketball Association while Universitas Pelita Harapan ruled Indonesia’s Liga Mahasiswa in 2021.

For Ateneo, the international tourney is part of its build-up for a redemption tour in the UAAP Season 85 next month.

ATENEO

BASKETBALL

BLUE EAGLES

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