Ateneo clobbers Sydney U to open World University Series defense

ateneo blue eagles japan

FILE–Coach Tab Baldwin and Ateneo Blue Eagles during a friendly game against a Japanese selection team. –MUSONG CASTILLO

TOKYO—Using unforgiving defense to anchor its offense, Ateneo on Friday dismantled World University Basketball Series newcomer and Australian champion Sydney University with masterful precision, 88-50, as the Blue Eagles got their title defense soaring at Yoyogi National Stadium here.

Never budging an inch against the equally big Aussies, the Blue Eagles scored 10 of the game’s first 11 points and never trailed, thanks to so many players who stepped up offensively and a gung-ho defensively mentality that kept the Lions flustered.

“Parts of the game I was happy, parts I wasn’t, Certain players played well and some didn’t come to do the job that we wanted them to do,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin. “The important thing is we won.”

Mason Amos led the Blue Eagles with 17 points along with five rebounds while Kai Ballungay added 13 points and six rebounds.

Ateneo drained 11 triples in the middle two quarters to stop the Lions on their tracks and win impressively even with a lineup that didn’t have Jared Brown and Josh Lazaro.

Next up for the Blue Eagles are the Hakuoh University Soldiers, who demolished Perbasan Institute of Indonesia, 97-49, in Ateneo’s half of the bracket.

One champion team got the boot early in the World University Basketball Series tournament here as National Chengchi University of Chinese Taipei eliminated the host country’s No. 1 team, Tokai University, 81-73.

The Griffins got 18 points and 12 rebounds from Mouhamed Mbaye and twin digits from two others in bundling out the Seagulls, runners-up to Ateneo last year, and setting a KO match with fancied Radford University of the United States.

A US NCAA Division 1 team, the Highlanders flexed their muscles in scoring a 100-63 demolition of Korea University.

NCCU and Radford battle Saturday at 3 p.m.

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