Ateneo begins Pinoyliga title defense, tests Mapua

Ateneo begins Pinoyliga title defense, tests Mapua

Games Saturday (Paco Arena, Manila)
10 a.m. - San Beda vs Adamson
12 nn - UP vs San Sebastian
2 p.m. - Mapua vs Ateneo
4 p.m. - NU vs FEU
Games Sunday (Enderun Gym, Taguig City)
1 p.m. - Lyceum vs Guang Ming
3 p.m. - Fatima vs UP

MANILA, Philippines -- Defending champion Ateneo opens its Pinoyliga Collegiate Cup title defense against Mapua Saturday at the Paco Arena.

The Blue Eagles beat National University, 65-63, in an exciting titular showdown at the Villar Coliseum in Las Piñas City to secure the championship in June last year.

Ateneo went perfect in 10 games, including a 8-0 record in the group stage.

The Blue Eagles and the Cardinals collide in the third game of a heavy Saturday quadrupleheader in an interesting Bracket A duel at 2 p.m.

Mapua turned back Far Eastern University, 73-65, while San Sebastian outlasted University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 94-93, at the Enderun Colleges Gym.

John Jabonete had 27 points and 10 rebounds while Cyrus Cuenco added 24 points as the Cardinals, chalked up their first win in Bracket A.

The Tamaraws, who were led by Jorick Bautista's 21 points, fell to 0-2 in the Sean Chambers' head coaching era.

Joining Mapua for the early Bracket A lead are Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-0) and Enderun College (1-0). Guang Ming College (0-1) is also in Bracket A.

Raymark Escobido shot 29 points while Reggz Jabat logged 15 points and six rebounds for the Stags, who seized the solo Bracket B lead at 2-0.

Richard Movida had 19 points while JP Boral chipped in 14 points and eight boards for the Altas, who are now handled by coach Olsen Racela and dropped to 0-2 in their pool.

University of the Philippines and Our Lady of Fatima University have similar 1-0 records in Bracket B, while NCAA champion San Beda (0-1) is also in its group.

The Red Lions will play Adamson to open a Saturday quadruple-header at 10 a.m. at the Paco Arena. The Fighting Maroons take on the Stags at 12 p.m., while the Bulldogs go up against the Tamaraws at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, UP collides with OLFU at 3 p.m., right after LPU and GMC take the floor at 1 p.m. at the Enderun Colleges Gym.

The teams will be divided into two groups, with the top teams in each bracket advancing outright to the semis.

The three lowest-ranked teams are eliminated outright, while teams which finished at nos. 3-6 will engage each other in the quarterfinals, with two higher ranked squads enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage.

The semifinals and the finals are both knockout games.

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