‘Clutch’ UE spoils Tab Baldwin’s Ateneo coaching debut

UE spoiled the Ateneo coaching debut of Tab Baldwin after coming back to stun the Blue Eagles, 93-91, in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup Saturday in San Juan. 

Bonbon Batiller tied the game in regulation before Renz Palma took over in extra time as the Red Warriors completed their fightback from a 14-point deficit.

The Recto squad still trailed, 76-79, with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter but the Warriors found an open Batiller, who sank a cold-blooded triple in the ensuing play.

Palma hit a game-high 22 points with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while Batiller finished with 14 points for UE.

Chibueze Ikeh pumped in a double-double of 20 markers and 16 boards while Tyler Tio and Adrian Wong contributed 19 and 13 points, respectively, for the Blue Eagles.

It was a double whammy for Ateneo, as they lost Matt Nieto, who hurt his right knee late in the game.

The Warriors, which will field an all-Filipino team in the coming UAAP wars, will be up against La Salle on May 6 at 2pm.

Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles will try to bounce back when they take on Adamson on May 6 at 4pm. — By John Bryan Ulanday

The Scores:

UE – Palma 22, Pasaol 15, Batiller 14, De Leon 11, Derige 10, Charcos 8, Acuno 3, Manalang 2, Abanto 2, Larupay 2, Amenion 2, Gagate 0, Penuela 0, Varilla 0, Bartolome 0, Poblete 0

ADMU – Ikeh 20, Tio 19, Wong A.13, Black 7, Apacible 7, Nieto J.7, Porter 7, Tolentino 5, Ravena 3, Nieto M. 2, Wong D. 0, Go 0

Quarters: 16-16, 27-34, 52-58, 79-79, 93-91 (OT)