Blue Eagles soar to second straight UAAP title
THE ATENEO de Manila University Blue Eagles put on a masterclass in execution and put an end to the Cinderella-like run of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons with a title-clinching 99-81 win in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Thirdy Ravena was at the tip of Ateneo’s attack as he scored a career-high 38 points to lead the Blue Eagles to their second straight championship.
Ivorian big man Ange Kouame, who was named the season’s Rookie of the Year, also came alive from his dreary Game 1 performance, as he notched a double-double of 22 points and 17 rebounds.
After a tight first half, wherein UP trimmed an early 13-point deficit to just six, 22-28, Ateneo started to pull away in the third with Kouame ramming in a slam to push Ateneo up by 18, 68-50.
Later, Ravena swished in his fourth triple of the game to give Ateneo a 79-58 lead with 7:28 to go in the lopsided match.
Juan Gomez de Liano carried the scoring cudgels for the Maroons with 24 points along with eight rebounds and three assists while Bright Akhuetie, who was given the MVP award earlier in the day, scored 19 markers.
Cebuano wingman Paul Desiderio, playing in his final collegiate game, finished with 15 points, seven boards, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
The Blue Eagles claimed a tight Game 1 with an 88-79 win last Saturday.
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