The Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles defeated the University of the Philippines’ Fighting Maroons, 99-81, on Wednesday, Dec. 05, to remain the top men’s basketball team of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
Reigning Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Thirdy Ravena scored 38 points so that the Blue Eagles could end the Best-of-three Finals series at Game Two at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Rookie of the Year Ange Kouame also contributed 22 points and 21 rebounds for the Ateneo to seize their 10th championship and their second straight title.
On the side of the Fighting Maroons, Mythical Five member Juan Gomez De Liano scored 24 points and season MVP Bright Akhuetie finished with 19 points even with his knee injury.
The Fighting Maroons only took the lead during the first seconds of the game after team captain Paul Desiderio, who finished with 15 points, scored the first three pointer of the game.
From there, Ateneo, who has won seven championships in the last 10 seasons, started to over power the Fighting Maroons.
Incidentally, this is the first finals appearance of UP after 32 years.
The Blue Eagles ended the first quarter with a 12-point advantage, 25-13, and never looked back.