The defending champions De La Salle Green Archers handed Ateneo Blue Eagles their first loss in the Men’s Basketball Tournament of the UAAP Season 80.
During the game last November 13 in Araneta Coliseum, the Archers defeated the Blue Eagles with a score of 79-76.
La Salle grabbed the lead with a score of 77-76 in the last 40 seconds of the game. Ateneo attempted to regain control of the game but the hook shot of center Isaac Go didn’t go in.
Archers shooting guard Ricci Rivero also got fouled and made two free throws in order to increase the point advantage of the defending champions. Eagles guard Anton Asistio attempted to bring the game to overtime but the Archers stopped his three-point attempt.
The Archers was led by Ben Mbala who made 28 points and 19 rebounds, while Matt Nieto, Thirdy Ravena, and Go gave not less than 12 points for the Eagles.
Due to this, Ateneo wasted their chance of instantly entering the finals and will now face Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, La Salle will be facing Adamson Soaring Falcons for a chance to reserve a slot in the finals.