Schedule on Saturday:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. -- UAAP Cheerdance Competition
THIRDY Ravena delivered a double-double performance as Ateneo clinched the remaining twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four slot with a 73-67 win over Adamson in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles put the game beyond reach at 68-59 after Ravena scored a lay-up entering the two-minute mark and never looked back to avenge their narrow 61-62 loss to the Falcons in the first round.
“Adamson is really a tough team to beat. We had to dig deep to win this game. We just wanted to win and get the twice-to-beat advantage,” said Ravena, who finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Earlier, Axel Iñigo delivered the dagger three in the final 25 seconds as defending champion Far Eastern University ended a three-game slide with a confidence-boosting 65-61 win over University of the East.
“Well, we just wanted to get the win before we go to the playoffs,” said Tamaraws coach Nash Racela. “That was a struggle, it was really hard.”
FEU finished the elimination round in third place with a 9-5 card and will face Ateneo (10-4) in the Final Four next week.
Ending a four-game winning run, the Falcons wound up fourth with a 8-6 slate. Adamson will face 13-1 La Salle in the other semis pairing.
Holding the twice-to-beat advantage, the Eagles and the Green Archers need only to win once to forge their first championship showdown since 2008.
Ateneo also drew big games from Matt Nieto and Adrian Wong, who had 12 points apiece, while Isaac Go scored seven of his nine points in the payoff period and pulled down eight rebounds.
The Falcons were very much in the game in the first three quarters but folded up in the last 10 minutes of play.
“It was a tough game. It was a tough win for us and it’s a hard-earned win. The players stayed focused in spite of the very good performance of Adamson,” said coach Sandy Arespacochaga after the Eagles capped the eliminations with six straight wins. “It wasn’t really a good game in terms of our field goal percentage and it became a defensive game. We had to grind it out.”
Papi Sarr had 17 points and 23 rebounds while Jaydee Tungcab chipped in 16 points for the Falcons, who will make their first semis appearance in five seasons.
Iñigo scored 16 points, including the three-pointer over Philip Manalang that gave the Tamaraws a 63-59 buffer that broke the backs of the Red Warriors.
Racela reminded everyone that no one considered that FEU will go this deep in the season despite losing six key players from last year’s title run.
“I’m happy that we are in the Final Four. We are happy where we are right now,” said Racela.
Raymar Jose had a double-double effort of 11 points and 12 rebounds, Richard Escoto also tossed in 11 markers while Ino Comboy scored eight of his 10 points in the payoff period where the Tamaraws rallied from a 44-53 hole.
UE ended its season tied with University of Santo Tomas in seventh place with a 3-11 card. The Warriors have not made it to the semis since losing to the Eagles in three Finals games in 2009.
FEU (64) -- Iñigo 16, Escoto 11, Jose 11, Comboy 10, Orizu 8, Holmqvist 4, Bayquin 3, Tuffin 1, Arong 0, Bienes 0, Dennison 0, Nunag 0, Trinidad 0.
UE (61) -- Varilla 13, Acuno 8, Manalang 8, Palma 8, Bartolome 7, Batiller 6, Olayon 5, Abanto 2, Armenio 2, Pasaol 2, Charcos 0, Gagate 0.
Quarterscores: 11-20, 34-34, 44-53, 64-61.
ADMU (73) -- Ravena 14, Nieto Mi.12, Wong 12, Go 9, Nieto Ma. 7, Verano 6, Black 5, Ikeh 4, Tolentino 3, Asistio 1, Porter 0.
AdU (67) -- Sarr 17, Tungcab 16, Manalang 12, Ahanmisi 7, Espeleta 7, Manganti 7, Camacho 1, Ochea 0, Mustre 0, Bernardo 0, Paranada 0, Chua 0, Ng 0.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 28-33, 52-53, 73-67.