Eagles swoop down on Bulldogs
Chibueze Ikeh of Ateneo de Manila University | File Photo
MANILA, Philippines — Chibueze Ikeh and Vince Tolentino proved Ateneo's frontline can be as lethal as their touted backcourt.
Posting career-high scoring efforts of 18 and 15, respectively, Ikeh and Tolentino anchored the Eagles to their sixth straight triumph in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tourney via a 96-83 drubbing of National U last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ikeh matched his personal high and hauled down 11 rebounds while Tolentino made his presence felt making all but two of his nine. attempts inside as AdMU cemented its hold on the lead.
"It wasn't really surprising because of the way they got their shots. It's in the flow of offense. NU did a terific job of defending our perimeter shooters so we had to adjust, and the players found these guys.
We take the defense gives us," said AdMU assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
"They (Ikeh and Tolentino) do a lot of dirty work for us. Not just scoring, they're capable like they showed today, they're valuable to us in controlling the rebound and playing good defense," he added.
Twins Matt and Mike Nieto combined for 24 markers to back up their big men.
Jayjay Alejando shot the lights out and banged in 24 spiked by five treys. But he coughed up just three in the fourth that allowed AdMU to break away for good and deal NU its third straight loss for 2-4 overall.
"We picked up our defense in the fourth, and Gian Mamuyac played a big role in that, helping hold Alejandro to three points," said Arespacochaga.