MANILA -- West Negros University suffered a second half shutdown to help back-to-back seeking Ateneo de Manila marched to the semifinal phase of the 15th University Games men’s basketball tournament Friday, 79-62, in Dumaguete City.

The three-time champion of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) never gave the upperhand to the Bacolod-based Mustangs, who successfully inched closer at 34-38 after the first half.

But the Katipunan-based dribblers launched a fiery assault in the third canto to pull away, leading as many as 20 points, 64-44, before cruising to a smooth payoff period.

In other matches, UAAP Season 73 second runner-up Adamson Falcons trampled the St. Benilde Blazers, 97-61, to arrange a semifinal date with UAAP losing finalist Far Eastern University (FEU).

Ateneo meanwhile squares off with National University Bulldogs in the other semifinal clash set this weekend. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)