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Ateneo title protection ends with loss to house group Hakuoh at World College Sequence

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin provides directions to his gamers throughout a timeout in opposition to Japan’s Hakuoh College on the World College Basketball Sequence in Tokyo, Japan. Picture from Musong Castillo/INQUIRER

TOKYO—Ateneo vs Radford College of the USA will occur in spite of everything. It simply received’t be for the World College Basketball Sequence title.

A Hakuoh College squad that didn’t surrender an inch on protection uncovered all of the kinks in Ateneo’s armor on Saturday and dethroned the Blue Eagles in a formidable method, 78-53, to advance to the title sport and provides the host nation one thing to cheer for.

The Troopers pressured the Eagles to crucial scoring droughts within the remaining three intervals and successfully took out Joseph Obasa from his candy spot to carve out the win and march on to face the Nationwide Chengchi College Griffins of Taiwan for the crown Sunday.

After being held to a paltry seven factors within the third body, the Eagles, who received this occasion through a sweep final yr, will now be left combating for the crumbs at 3 p.m. additionally Sunday in opposition to the Highlanders, who additionally have been introduced down earlier.

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“To their (Troopers’) credit score, they actually performed good protection tonight,” Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin stated minutes after the loss. “We additionally didn’t play that nicely, I simply can’t level out why we have been type of out of focus.

“We simply didn’t get right into a rhythm.”

Ateneo trailed on the half for the primary time, 35-33, after two scoring droughts within the second interval left the reigning UAAP champion trailing by as many as 5 factors at one stage.

The Eagles did handle to make it shut heading again to the locker room thanks to 2 straight Gab Gomez triples—the second off the backboard.

After taking pictures 15 triples in an 88-50 destruction of the College of Sydney on Friday, the Eagles struggled to transform from afar and from the sector for that matter, scoring simply 33 factors with their 4 triples within the first half coming from their level guards.

Hakuoh, which completed second to ousted Takao College within the native collegiate league, performed splendid protection within the first half, disrupting the movement of the Ateneo offense because the Troopers met the Eagles guards excessive and performed urgent man-to-man.

Pesky on the defensive finish and really deliberate on offense, the Griffins confirmed heavy favourite Radford the door after a 79-75 victory that set the tone of an upset-filled day.

The Griffins used a floating zone protection and bought the products from younger swingmen Sung Hsin-Hao and Lin Tzu-Hao when the going bought tough within the fourth interval because the Taiwanese superior to the title sport first.

“It was complete teamwork for us, particularly on the defensive finish,” Sung instructed reporters by a translator after draining crucial buckets within the fourth, together with a spectacular windmill layup that eluded 6-foot-10 Radford middle Josiah Harris for 67-61 with 5:16 left.

The Griffins opened the second half trailing by 4 and have been down by 11 factors close to the midway mark of the third interval earlier than their protection clicked.

Led by a workhorse of a middle in Mouhamed Mbaye, NCCU, which misplaced by a large margin to the Eagles final yr, methodically nibbled at that deficit and even led by 12 factors late in regulation.

Solely two late triples by the Highlanders made the ultimate rating shut.

The title sport is slated Sunday at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. in Manila).

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