DE La Salle and Ateneo extended its fabled rivalry to baseball as the two teams clash for the UAAP Season 76 title following Sunday’s action at the Rizal Memorial ballpark.
The Green Archers clinched their first finals appearance in more than a decade after defeating University of the Philippines, 14-11, while the defending champion Blue Eagles beat University of Santo Tomas, 14-4, in seven innings.
The finals match-up was formally settled after National University gave up three runs in the sixth inning to bow to Adamson, 6-4, in the third game as the Bulldogs failed to earn a return trip to the finals following a runner-up finish last year.
The finals was arranged with still two playdates to go in the elimination round.
It will be the first finals stint for De La Salle since 2003 (Season 65) when Joseph Orillana led the team past UP for the crown. Orillana, a long-time national team pitcher and infielder, is now part of the coaching staff of the Taft-based batters.
The Archers and Eagles are still lording it over in the team standings with 7-1 and 6-2 (win-loss) cards respectively, with Adamson, UP, and NU at far third with 3-5 slates.
Miguel Olmos belted a grand slam home run in the first inning as the Archers scored eight runs to begin the rout.
Karl Peralta’s two-run singles in the fourth and fifth innings bucked UP’s comeback to 14-11 at the end of the eighth but couldn’t sustain the momentum.
Ateneo’s Matt Laurel had four RBIs including a home run in the third inning to start the rout with the game ending due to mercy rule.