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Big shot Isaac Go does it again! Ateneo whack De La Salle, win first title in 5 years

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Isaac Go sank a clutch three-pointer with 24.7 seconds left in the ball game as the Ateneo Blue Eagles withstood a furious De La Salle Green Archers’ comeback to win the men’s basketball of UAAP Season 80, 88-86 at the Big Dome.

With the Archers refusing to quit and the Eagles ahead by just two, 82-80 Go once again bailed Ateneo with his trademark clutch shooting to turn back La Salle in the winner-take-all game.

Ahead by 10, 80-70 with less than three minutes remaining, Arjun Melecio came up with a triple while Ben
Mbala completed a three-point play to lead La Salle’s torrid comeback.

But a wide open Go silenced the rally to bring back the title to Katipunan.

Andrei Caracut drilled a triple but Ateneo sank three free throws to preserve the win. Melecio sank a triple at the buzzer for the final score.

Just like in the first two games, the Blue Eagles got off to a quick start in the first quarter leading by as much as eight points, 20-12.

But a 13-5 rally by the Green Archers capped by Arjun Melecion triple knotted the score at 25-all with 5:49 left in the second quarter.

The two teams battled almost evenly before La Salle tasted its first lead of the game with a Prince Rivero putback, 38-37 with 58 seconds left in the second quarter.

An eight-point swing by the Blue Eagles saw them post a close 45-38 lead after the first half.

As expected the Green Archers came up big in the third coming up with big baskets to eventually tie the game at 66-all.

After Mbala gave the lead 68–66, the Blue Eagles uncorked a 14-2 run to retake the momentum, 80-70 with less than four minutes left in the fourth.

By Erel Cabatbat