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Mason Amos, Kent Pastrana stand out in past UAAP hoops week

MANILA, Philippines – After wobbly starts in the UAAP Season 86 basketball tournaments, the Ateneo Blue Eagles and University of Santo Tomas Tigresses found their winning forms to cap the 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 in the October 16-22 period, enough to get the nods of the Collegiate Press Corps as the UAAP Men’s and Women’s Players of the Week.

Amos, the rookie ace and a gold medalist for Gilas Pilipinas in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games, came up big in the “Battle of Katipunan” as he unloaded 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting laced by 10 rebounds to lift the defending champions over the erstwhile undefeated University of the Philippine (UP) Fighting Maroons via overtime, 99-89, last Sunday.

In fact, it was his personal 5-0 spurt that broke the 85-all deadlock with 2:14 left to play in the extra period. He would nail another basket down the stretch that made it impossible for the Fighting Maroons to mount a comeback as they improved to 4-3 card.

Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin acknowledged the big shots made by his players in overtime, especially the Filipino-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,” he told the press. 

Amos was also pivotal in Ateneo’s 97-77 win against the hapless UST last Wednesday, dropping 15 points in just 12 minutes of action.

The 6-foot-7 cager averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 boards and 2.0 dimes while shooting 60% from the 3-point area to