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Blue Eagles topple Tams to advance in Finals for third straight season

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For the third straight time, Ateneo steered their way to the Finals at the expense of FEU.

The Blue Eagled booked their trip in the Finals by defeating the Tamaraws in a convincing fashion, 80-61, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Final Four round at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, on Sunday, November 25.

Only three minutes removed from the early period, Thirdy Ravena’s back-to-back throwdown only fueled the reigning champs from Katipunan to start out strong, even limiting FEU to just nine points in the first period.

Ateneo would truly assert their dominance in the second half, s not only did they open the third canto with 15 unanswered points, but they also led by as much as 31 points, 59-28.

With that win, the top-seeded Ateneo became the first team to advance in the championship round this Season 81.

We wanted to make sure that we’ll lock in on the defensive end and identify the key players that we want to take out of the game,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

Ravena paced Ateneo with 22 points, seven rebounds, and four assists while Angelo Kouame collected 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

The Blue Eagles will defend their title against the winner between Adamson Soaring Falcons and UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday.

For the FEU, their Final Four curse against Ateneo continues to linger them.

Barkley Eboña led the Tams with just nine points, as no one in the team scored double-digit markers.

Now that FEU’s season has come to an end, they also bid goodbye to their graduating players Richard Escoto, Prince Orizu, RJ Ramirez, Axel Inigo, Arvin Tolentino, and Jasper Parker.