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Monday, March 4, 2024

Eagles rout Archers, clinch Final 4 top spot

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Thirdy Ravena made 14 points to lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles past the La Salle Green Archers, 71-62, and the top seeding in the Final Four of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday. 

Angelo Kouame had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Eagles, who notched their 11th triumph in 13 outings.

Justine Baltazar shot 12 points for the Green Archers, who fell to 8-5 in third place, putting them in a three-way fight for the last Final Four slot with Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines (7-6).

Timely baskets by Kouame in the remaining 4:59 put Ateneo out of harm’s way, 63-56.

Meanwhile, Arvin Tolentino and Ken Tuffin took turns in leading the FEU Tamaraws to a 79-74 repulsing of the National University Bulldogs.

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Tolentino shot 16 points and knocked in two of four triples in the second period, which allowed the Tamaraws to take a commanding halftime lead and post their seventh win in 13 games.

Tuffin struck with 15 points, including a dunk with 5:13 that handed the Tams a 13-point cushion, 78-65.

The Tams hit 12 of 39 three-point attempts throughout the game, with Tolentino, Tuffin and Wendell Comboy combining for four in the second period, to lift FEU past a 21-22 deficit and to a 44-28 halftime spread.

John Lloyd Clemente made a season-high 38 points that went down the drain with the NU loss. He put the Bulldogs to within five on what it stood in the end following a late 11-1 uprising in the closing minute, but time was not on their side.

“We are still in the hunt. Wala pa kami sa Final Four. We still need one more win. Hopefully, nakakakuha na kami ng momentum. We need one more,” said Tams’ coach Olsen Racela after they moved to a share of fourth with the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons at 7-6.

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