UAAP FINALS SET: IT’S ATENEO VS LA SALLE
The Ateneo Blue Eagles dug down deep to dethrone the defending champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 69-68, in overtime in the 69th UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Defeated in their match-up last Saturday, the Blue Eagles exacted their revenge as Isaac Go, who briefly left the game in the extra session after he got hit by a wayward elbow, converted a putback that proved to be the game-winner. Go finished the game with a huge double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Thirdy Ravena and Mike Nieto led Ateneo with 13 markers each.
FEU’s Cebuano wingman Ron Dennison actually made a basket but officials did not count it as they ruled it came after the final buzzer, giving Ateneo the win and the final ticket to the best-of-three championship round, where they will face bitter rivals La Salle.
Game 1 of the finals will be this Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia. La Salle and Ateneo will be meeting in the finals for the first time in eight years.
Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin said both teams played their hearts out and it was a shame that someone had to lose.
“I don’t think anybody deserved to lose this game. They made the last shot, but half a second too late,” he said.
The game ended in regulation tied at 66-all after Dennison made a floater and Ravena could not get his layup to go off a fierce drive along the baseline with just 3.7 seconds remaining.
In overtime, the two teams struggled to find their mark until Go hustled to get the loose ball off a miss by Matt Nieto and put it back into the basket for a 69-68 lead with 1:24 to go.
The Tams gained a shot at stealing the win as Ravena lost the ball on his way to the rim. But Dennison, the former University of the Visayas Baby Lancer, bobbled the pass from former Southwestern University standout Monbert Arong, before gathering it and banking it in, half a second after the game clock expired.
Arong and Jose, FEU’s veterans who are playing in their final season, led the team in scoring with 15 and 12, respectively.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.