The Ateneo Blue Eagles remain undefeated with a 86-79 victory over the UST Growling Tigers in Game 2 of UAAP Season 82 finale! This marks a three-peat championship record and a history-making clean sweep for the Katipunan-based ballers. It goes without saying that they played a perfect season!
All this would not have been possible without the impressive performance of Will Navarro, Ange Kouame, SJ Belangel, and exiting seniors Thirdy Ravena, Adrian Wong, Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto who gave their ultimate one last fight for the team. Now, it's time to celebrate. Don your blue and white with pride, and let's take a look back at the Eagles' best court moments below:
Nieto's twin attack
Mike and Matt Nieto hit back-to-back winning performances of 18-15 markers respectively in one game against the De La Salle Green Archers. And their joined forces paid off well until the end. We're going to miss this twin run on the UAAP court, for real.
Every block from Kouame
Ivorian Ange Kouame uses his 6'10" height to the Blue Eagles' advantage every chance he gets, and, on the right timing, sometimes goes overboard with the dunks. It would be a question to have him on the bench, TBH. But we feel we that won't be seeing a lof of him there come next season.
The Final 4 pass by Wong
Ateneo stepped into the Final 4 safe and sound, thanks to Adrian Wong's hot start during a match versus DLSU. He, in fact, finished it off with his season's best 18 points. That slot could have been difficult to snatch for the team if it wasn't for Wong. In Coach Baldwin's words, this guy definitely rose to the occassion.
Belangel's 3-pt threat
Just in the recently held finals, Samjosef Belangel gave his fair share of 3-point goals and wrapped up with 14 as his final score, tying with his senior Mark Nieto and close to three with MVP Thirdy Ravena. The ADMU squad doesn't need to worry for the future 'cause they've got themselves a newfound gem.
Ravena's 32-point eruption
He didn't go easy during the finals, not even for a second. Graduating Thirdy Ravena went for a thrilling 32/91 during their Game 1 win over the UST Growling Tigers. What does this makes of him in the end? A three-time Finals MVP. The unstoppable Eagle sure is signing off with his head held high.
At the end of the day, the Blue Eagles claimed their third consecutive championship title and a milestone of 16-0 perfect sweep in the history of UAAP Men's Basketball. Yep, no single loss. The feat surpasses the 14-0 record that UST previously made in 1993. A flawless season pulled off!
What an incredible season it has been. And if there's anything we can take away from here on out, it's the courage that every UAAP team has shown through each fight, win or lose. We only have mad respect. Congratulations to making your universities proud! Now, who's ready for a bonfire?
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Banner photo from ABS-CBN News