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Ateneo rules Japan cagefest

Ateneo de Manila blew past Tokai University, 68-59, yesterday to sweep the four-team World University Basketball Series at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo.

The victory gave the Blue Eagles the title after earlier victories over Universities Pelita Harapan of Indonesia, 125-39, and National Chengchi University (NCCU) of Taiwan, 88-78.

From a 43-41 lead at the start of the fourth frame, Ateneo ramped up its game by outscoring the Japanese side, 15-4, enabling the Blue Eagles to cruise to victory and win its first UAAP pre-season tournament.

Settling for second place is Tokai with a 2-1 win-loss card while third place honors go to NCCU after racking up a 1-2 slate.

The Indonesia entry finished last after losing all its games.

Winning the Taiwan tourney bodes well for Ateneo’s buildup for Season 85 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

Last time out, the Eagles fell to the University of the Philippines.

Next up for Ateneo is a training camp in Israel starting late this month.

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