Ateneo captures third straight UAAP men’s basketball title

By CJ Marquez, CNN Philippines

For the third consecutive year, the Ateneo Blue Eagles are the kings of UAAP men’s seniors basketball.

The Blue Eagles defeated the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 86-79, in Game 2 of the finals Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

With the victory, Ateneo achieved a historic 16-0 sweep — the seventh perfect season in league history and the first since UST’s 14-game perfect run in 1993.

Thirdy Ravena showed the way for the Blue Eagles with 17 points and seven rebounds, while SJ Belangel added 15 points on fifty percent shooting. Ravena was hailed Finals Most Valuable Player for the third time.

As the Growling Tigers cut the deficit to just one point in the final quarter, Belangel waxed hot from beyond-the-arc to push the Ateneo’s lead to a safe distance.

The Blue Eagles are also the only team to repeat a three-peat in the Final Four era, which began in 1994.

Rhenz Abando finished with 16 points and four rebounds, while Mark Nonoy chipped 14 points for UST.

Ateneo now has a total of 11 men’s seniors basketball titles.

The scores:

Ateneo (86) – Ravena 17, Belangel 14, Ma. Nieto 14, Kouame 7, Navarro 7, Go 6, Maagdenberg 6, Wong 5, Daves 4, Mi. Nieto 3, Mamuyac 2, Andrade 0.

UST (79) – Abando 16, Nonoy 14, Chabi Yo 11, Concepcion 8, Subido 8, Huang 7, Ando 6, Paraiso 5, Cansino 4, Bataller 0, Pangilinan 0.

Quarterscores: 31-18, 42-32, 67-62, 86-79.

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