Eagles win Game 1 of Finals
VETERAN FORWARD Nico Salva had a career game with 30 points as he anchored a decisive third period rally that gave the Ateneo Blue Eagles an 83-78 win over the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers in Game One of the best-of-three Finals series of the 75th UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Salva was the spark plug of a 17-0 blast in the third that gave them a 61-51 lead heading to the penultimate canto.
Then, Kiefer Ravena sliced UST’s heart out with a dagger of a jumper with eight seconds remaining that sealed the win for Ateneo.
Still, the win was a hard-fought one for the Eagles as UST reclaimed the lead, 64-63, after an 11-0 run that was capped off by a slam by Karim Abdul.
The Blue Eagles were not fazed and pushed ahead, 81-72, after a rare four-point play by Ryan Buenafe and consecutive makes by Juami Tiongson.
UST kept at it and were within three after back-to-back three-pointers by Jeric Teng. But Ravena sealed the deal with that icy jumper from the left wing. He finished with 13 while Tiongson and Buenafe added 12 and 10, respectively.
UST got 25 from Teng and 22 more from Aljon Mariano.
Ateneo (83) – Salva 30, Ravena 13, Tiongson 12, Buenafe 10, Chua 9, Slaughter 5, Gonzaga 2, Elorde 2, Sumalinog 0, Golla 0.
UST (78) – Teng 25, Mariano 22, Ferrer 13, Abdul 9, Fortuna 4, Lo 3, Pe 2, Bautista 0.
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