Sat 9 December 2023

Ateneo beats De La Salle 77-72 in close first rivalry game of Season 86

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After ending the half by chasing the Green Archers 37-39, the Blue Eagles showed up in the fourth quarter with 30 points to seal the victory.

DLSU was looking to maintain its lead with good half-court defense that forced ADMU to take desperate shot attempts and shot clock violations.

Ateneo bounced back after trading leads with De La Salle in back-to-back threes early in the fourth quarter when Ballungay cemented their lead with a slam dunk to cement their lead until the end of the quarter.

Kai Ballungay led the team with 18 points, 12 offensive rebounds (16 total), which head coach Tab Baldwin alluded to as “beyond Ange Kouame” in the post-game press conference, referring to last season’s finals MVP.

Mason Amos, after having only 3 points, 1 rebound in the first half, came alive in the second end it with 12 points, 5 rebounds in his first Ateneo-De La Salle rivalry game.

“He [Amos] stepped up at the right time. We know he had it in him,” Ballungay said about his teammate’s performance. “He found his rhythm and we know that he can do that.”

Despite the win which Baldwin described as “gutsy,” he went to say that it “wasn’t a good basketball win.”

“You can ask me that question 365 days a year, you get the same answer: I want to play good basketball… So, I’m not overly satisfied when we don’t play good basketball and win, but I’m really happy with the gutsy performance.”

Now with a 1-1 season standing, Ateneo looks to play good basketball against the Adamson Soaring Falcons (1-1) on Saturday, October 7.

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