MANILA, Philippines — After shaky starts in the UAAP Season 86 basketball tournaments, the Ateneo Blue Eagles and University of Santo Tomas Tigresses found their winning forms to cap their first-round battles on a high note – thanks to Mason Amos and Kent Pastrana, respectively.
Amos delivered stellar performances in his last two games to tow the Blue Eagles to their first back-to-back wins this season while Pastrana anchored the Tigresses for a 2-0 record the past week as both were named UAAP Players of the Week.
Amos, the rookie ace and a gold medalist for Gilas Pilipinas in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games, came up big with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 10 rebounds to lift the defending champions over the erstwhile undefeated University of the Philippines in overtime, 99-89, on Sunday.
It was Amos’ personal 5-0 spurt that broke the 85-all deadlock with 2:14 left to play in the extra period. He also nailed another basket that finally put away the Fighting Maroons.
Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin acknowledged the big shots made by his players in overtime, especially the Fil-Australian Amos, noting that it was the only way to win big games such as versus the Fighting Maroons.
But Amos downplayed his numbers, crediting their victory to all his teammates and their impressive defense in an anticipated finals rematch. Ateneo and UP took turns ruling the UAAP the last two seasons.
“Honestly, it was a team effort. If we didn’t have all our guys stepping up today, I don’t think we’d get the job done, so props to the team…We really played defense until the final buzzer and we went to OT. So, it was an up-and-down game, I just wanna give credit to the guys because they deserve it,” said Amos, who helped the Eagles go above .500 at 4-3.
Amos was also pivotal in Ateneo’s 97-77 win over UST last Wednesday, dropping 15 points in just 12 minutes of action.
The 6-foot-7 Amos averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 boards, and 2.0 dimes while shooting 60% from the three-point area to beat Nic Cabañero of UST and his teammate Chris Koon for the weekly honors.
Meanwhile, Pastrana took it upon herself to power UST in the women’s division as the Tigresses recovered from two straight losses with a 90-67 win over Ateneo on Wednesday followed by an 82-66 pummeling of Far Eastern University three days later.
Pastrana dominated the Lady Tamaraws with 28 points, averaging 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 4.5 steals in the week to propel UST at No. 3 with a 5-2 slate.
She outshone NU’s Karl Pingol and Jhaz Joson of Ateneo for the weekly citation.
“I will continue to give my best every game. All of us will do our best to win every game,” Pastrana said in Filipino. “I can’t do it alone. We will continue to trust each other.”
Ateneo eyes to extend its winning run to three games on October 25 against the FEU Tamaraws at the Mall of Asia Arena while UST tangles with league-leader UP in the women’s side on the same day at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to start the second round.
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