Ateneo edges FEU, sets title series vs La Salle
Big man Isaac Go came up with the biggest baskets to power Ateneo De Manila to an 88-84 overtime win against Far Eastern University and seal a title showdown against bitter rival and defending champion De La Salle University in the men’s basketball tournament of UAAP Season 80.
With the Tamaraws ahead by three, 75-72 and the Blue Eagles almost nine seconds away from elimination, Go rifled a booming triple to send the game into an extra period. But Go wasn’t finished yet.
With the Blue Eagles ahead by just three, 85-82, Go nailed a clutch shot underneath the basket while literally sitting down with 22.4 seconds left in OT to seal the win for Ateneo. Matt Nieto earlier gave the Blue Eagles an 85-80 lead after sinking a triple with 46 seconds left in the game.
But the Tamaraws retaliated with a Richard Escoto jumper to cut the lead to three, 85-82. Go then completed his heroics to help Ateneo avoid its third straight defeat after almost sweeping the eliminations.
Moreover, his crucial baskets exorcised Go’s miscue in Ateneo’s game against La Salle. Go could have won the game and an outright finals appearance for Ateneo with an open shot in the dying seconds of the game. But he missed the attempt.
Thirdy Ravena paced the Blue Eagles with 17 points while Nieto and Chibueze Ikeh added 16 apiece. Go finished the game with 13 points.
Jasper Parker led the Tamaraw’s losing effort with a game-high 19 points.
The Blue Eagles will meet the Green Archers in game 1 of the best of three finals on Saturday, November 25, 4pm at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ateneo (88) – Ravena 17, Nieto Ma 16, Ikeh 16, Go 13, Mendoza 5, Tio 5, Nieto Mi 4, Tolentino 3, Black 3, Mamuyac 2, Verano 2, Porter 2, Asistio 0.
FEU (84) – Parker 19, Tolentino 13, Comboy 11, Orizu 10, Escoto 6, Inigo 6, Trinidad 6, Cani 5, Dennison 4, Ebona 2, Tuffin 2, Bayquin 0.
Quarterscores: 21-15, 40-33, 57-53, 75-75, 88-84 (OT).
By Erel Cabatbat