Ateneo bolsters Final Four chances with thrilling win over Adamson

TOUGH. Cebuano guard Sean Quitevis helped the Ateneo Blue Eagles pull off the win with his spectacular play on both ends of the floor.
TOUGH. Cebuano guard Sean Quitevis helped the Ateneo Blue Eagles pull off the win with his spectacular play on both ends of the floor. UAAP

THE Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles shrugged off a disastrous third quarter, to down the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 62-58, and bolster its UAAP Season 86 Final Four bid on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2023, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Blue Eagles now own sole fourth in the standings with a 6-6 record, a game ahead of the Soaring Falcons, who slipped to 5-7 at fifth.

“It was tough as it gets and we expected that,” shared Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin.

“That’s the Adamson team, that’s the Adamson coaching staff, they just grind you down and they’re doing it to everybody. It was never easy against them.”

Chris Koon put the Blue Eagles ahead by four after splitting his free throws with 3:16 left, 59-55. Then Adamson guard Matt Erolon scored a triple to pull the Soaring Falcons within a point, 58-59.

Adamson had four chances to take the lead, but Vince Magbuhos air-balled a three, Ced Manzano missed two shots, and Didat Hanapi flunked a fadeaway jumper badly with nine seconds remaining.

Ateneo, on the other hand, also failed to capitalize, with Chris Koon, a 72.9 percent shooter from the line, missing two freebies with 46.1 seconds left.

Sean Quitevis was sent to the line with 4.1 ticks to go, making the first while missing the second, resulting in a scramble for the loose ball that fell on a sitting Joseph Obasa. The one-and-done Nigerian big then took care of his freebies to seal the game with 3.3 seconds.

“To us, it was really important to stick to our defensive principles this game,” said Quitevis — a product of PAREF Springdale — who had 12 points and eight rebounds.

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