Blue Eagles blow out Falcons, forge finals rematch vs Maroons

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Blue Eagles blow out Falcons, forge finals rematch vs Maroons
Chris Koon

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 8:16 p.m.) — It will be the Battle of Katipunan anew in the UAAP finals after the Ateneo Blue Eagles bludgeoned the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 81-60, in their Final Four duel in UAAP Season 85 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

With the UP Fighting Maroons already waiting in the finals after they beat the NU Bulldogs earlier today, the Blue Eagles did their part with a masterclass over the No. 4 Soaring Falcons.

A well-rested Ateneo team pounced on the Soaring Falcons who had just come off of a knockout game against La Salle over the weekend.

"It's a really difficult job to play the game they played against La Salle the other night, and to turn around and try and play a team that's been preparing for a week and well-rested. I think the game really was a reflection of that." said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.

Another patented third quarter run where they closed the period on a 19-0 tear blew the game wide open as Ateneo was ahead by 27, 63-36.

Adamson was limited to just seven points in that period and were held scoreless for the last 7:27 of the third salvo. Jerom Lastimosa had scored his first field goal of the contest to cut the lead to eight, 36-44, before the Blue Eagles put the clamps on them.

It was only at the 8:30 mark of the final period when Adamson scored again after Jed Colonia converted on a layup to finally stop the bleeding.

But it was too late and too big of a deficit as Ateneo's lead ballooned to as big as 30 points off a Anton Quitevis triple with 9:15 left in the contest.

Forth Padrigao led Ateneo with 16 points, three boards, five assists, and two steals.

But it was Chris Koon who claimed Player of the Game honors with 15 points, five assists, three rebounds, and a steal. He was an efficient +21.

Meanwhile, Adamson hero Lastimosa was limited by the Ateneo defense as he finished with just 10 points on 4/15 shooting. He was also 0-of-7 from three.

The Blue Eagles thus head to their sixth straight finals under the tutelage of head coach Tab Baldwin. This will also be the third time in four seasons that UP and Ateneo will be facing off in the finals.

Game One tips off on Sunday, December 11, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Scores:

ATENEO 81 -- Padrigao 16, Koon 15, Ballungay 13, Ildefonso 11, Kouame 9, Andrade 5, Gomez 3, Quitevis 3, Garcia 3, Daves 2, Lao 1, Lazaro 0, Chiu 0, Fetalvero 0, Fornilos 0, Ong 0.
ADAMSON 60 -- Lastimosa 10, Hanapi 9, Manzano 8, Yerro 7, Douanga 6, Flowers 6, Torres 5, Sabandal 3, V. Magbuhos 3, Colonia 2, Manlapaz 1, Fuentebella 0, Jaymalin 0, Barasi 0, W. Magbuhos 0, Barcelona 0.

Quarters: 20-13, 39-29, 63-36, 81-60.

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