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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Eagles advance to UAAP Finals

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Thirdy Ravena led the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles to an 80-61 swamping of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.

Ravena’s huge effort with Angelo Kouame early in the game inspired the rest of their teammates as they propelled the Blue Eagles to their third straight finals appearance yesterday in the 81st University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament.

Ravena, who fouled out late in the fourth period, had another big evening with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.

Ravena’s score was one point below his season-high of 23 points, and he made eight of it in the first period.

“We just had to put into our minds, na kailangan mas gutom kami sa kanila, coming into the game,” said Ravena.

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Averaging 12.1 points per game, Ravena struck thrice during an 8-0 run in the start of the game, and this included two rim-rattling dunks.

The Blue Eagles, also getting 18 points and 11 rebounds from Kouame, were able to limit the Tams to below their 73.5 point average. They took command of the game early taking charge, 17-8, at the end of the first period.

Arvin Tolentino, who norms 13.4 points, was held to just five points for the Tams, who will miss the finals for a third straight season.

“We knew that coming into this game, we’re up against a tough FEU team which just had two great games against Adamson and La Salle. So, we wanted to lock in defensively from the start. We managed to limit their key players, whom we wanted to defend, and take out of their game. We got off to a good start and we were able to sustain it,” said Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

The Blue Eagles, known for limiting rivals to an average of 61.9 points, shackled FEU to just 15 points in the second period. With Kouame showing the way with seven points in that quarter, Ateneo took a 38-24 halftime spread.

Ravena’s triple in the remaining 2:53 of the period saw Ateneo taking a 59-28 spread after the third.

The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons won their first playoff match in 21 years, 73-71, off a game-winner by season MVP Bright Akhuetie in the last two seconds over the Adamson Falcons. They will meet the Falcons anew in a rubber match on Wednesday for the second finals slot.

The Tamaraws were completely humbled as not a single player could score in double digits. Barkley Ebona led the way for FEU with nine points. Prince Orizu completed his collegiate career with the Tamaraws with seven points and four rebounds.

The scores:

ATENEO BLUE EAGLES 80 – Ravena 22, Kouame 18, Verano 7, Nieto Ma 6, Go 6, Nieto Mi 5, Belangel 4, Mamuyac 3, Asistio 3, Mendoza 3, Black 2, Tio 1, Wong 0, Navarro 0, Daves 0, Andrade 0

FEU TAMARAWS 61 – Ebona 9, Orizu 7, Ramirez 7, Gonzales 6, Inigo 5, Tolentino 5, Stockton 5, Tuffin 4, Parker 4, Escoto 4, Comboy 3, Cani 2, Bienes 0, Bayquin 0, Jopia 0, Nunag 0

Quarter scores: 17-9, 38-24, 59-36, 80-61.

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