After five years of drought, the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles reclaimed the crown from their long-time rival, De La Salle Green Archers in the finals game three of UAAP season 80 with, 88-86 today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
As expected, it was an intensified and breathtaking game between Ateneo and La Salle but today, the Ateneo Blue Eagles brought home their 9th championship title in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
The Katipunan-based squad was a forced to be reckon with as they bombarded the Green Archers during the first half of the game led by Thirdy Ravena who notched 11 points and Anton Asistio with 7 points including his buzzer beater three pointer at the end of the half.
As the second half commenced, the Army in Green was able to tie the score at the end of the third quarter with 66-all, however, it was not enough for them to beat Ateneo’s resilient offensive and defensive tactics.
Thirdy Ravena pitched a total of 17 points and 8 rebounds and was awarded as the Finals Most Valuable Player.
Dubbed as Ateneo’s clutch guy, Isaac Go, showed a tremendous improvement in the finals contributed 7 points and 2 rebounds including his shot from the rainbow country during the fourth quarter under one minute.
King Eagle, Vince Tolentino expressed his gratitude to Coach Tab as he described him as one of the best coaches he ever had.
“I’ve never had a coach like coach Tab. Attention to detail, you know, his mind is just full of so much basketball knowledge and for us, young players, it is important to us to develop at a young age and coach Tab has done that. He’s an amazing coach and probably one the best coaches that I’ve been coached by.”
On the other hand, bannering the De La Salle Green archers were season’s MVP, Ben Mbala with 19 points and 14 rebounds, Aljun Melecio with 16 points and 3 rebounds and rising star, Ricci Rivero with 14 points and 7 rebounds.
Ravena-17, Nieto-14, Ikeh-12, Asistio-11, Tolentino-9, Go-7, Verano-6, Mendoza-5, Black-4, Mamuyac-3, Nieto-0
Mbala-19, Melecio-16, Rivero-14, Caracut-13, Santillian-11, Tratter-4, Go-3, Montalbo-3, Rivero-2, Tero-1, Baltazar-0