BRACE for Ateneo-UST II and this time, with the Philippine Collegiate Champions League title on the line.
The Blue Eagles forged a rematch of their UAAP Finals showdown with the Tigers after whipping the San Beda Red Lions, 66-49, on Sunday at the end of the Final Four at The Arena in San Juan.
The best-of-three title series starting on Tuesday at 4 p.m. marks the return bout between the two powerhouse schools since Ateneo swept UST to win its fifth straight UAAP men’s basketball title last month.
The Blue Eagles clinched the last Finals berth by silencing the Red Lions – the reigning three-time NCAA men’s champions – with 18 straight points in the third period for a commanding 46-26 lead with 3:01 left in the quarter.
“The whole game we were near perfect on our defense," admitted Ateneo coach Gabby Severino. "That's hats off to all the players."
Nico Salva came away with 16 points to pace Ateneo, while Greg Slaughter and Juami Tiongson each had 11.
Baser Amer gave life back to the Red Lions when he poured in 10 consecutive points, capped by two three-pointers, to cut down the deficit to 38-48, early in the final quarter.
But the Katipunan-based squad retaliated with its own 10-0 blast to bring the lead back to 58-38, and never looked back.
Amer led San Beda with 15 points and was a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, while Jake Pascual chipped in 10.
Ateneo (66) -- Salva 16, Slaughter 11, Tiongson 11, Gonzaga 9, Ravena 8, Sumalinog 3, Elorde 3, Pessumal 2, Chua 2, Capacio 1, Golla 0, Porter 0, Lim 0.
San Beda (49) -- Amer 15, Pascual, J. 10, Pascual, K. 8, Caram 8, Dela Rosa 3, Abarcar 3, Koga 2, Bonsubre 0, Moralde 0, Villaruz 0, Mendoza 0, Ludovice 0.
Quarterscores: 15-12, 28-26, 48-31, 66-49.