ATENEO used a superb fourth quarter to turn back University of the Visayas, 95-63, and earn a return trip to the finals of the 2019 Philippine Collegiate Champions League Saturday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Tyler Tio fired 14 of his 16 points in the payoff period as he commanded the Blue Eagles’ killer 33-6 finishing kick.
Ateneo will take on the winner of the other semis series between San Beda and UP in the championship game on Sunday.
SJ Belangel topped Ateneo with 20 points and six rebounds, as Will Navarro had 14 points and seven boards.
Dwight Ramos tallied 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Ivorian center Ange Kouame flirted with a triple-double with his nine points, nine boards and seven blocks.
Ateneo shot 13 for 21 in the final frame, including 5 for 9 from deep
"They played tough. They were physical so we got bothered in the first half, but we got our bearings. We went back to basic things, nothing special," said assistant coach Gabby Severino, who stepped in the place of coach Tab Baldwin.
Ivorian big man Lassina Coulibaly showed the way for UV with 21 points and nine rebounds, as Melvin Botuhan had 12.
Jancork Cabahug and Michael Maestre both scored 11 for the Green Lancers, who have been relegated to the battle for third.
Ateneo 95 - Belangel 20, Tio 16, Navarro 14, D. Ramos 11, Kouame 9, Mamuyac 7, Mallillin 6, Credo 5, Daves 4, Chiu 2, E. Ramos 1, Fornilos 0, Berjay 0.
UV 63 - Coulibaly 21, Botuhan 12, Cabahug 11, Maestre 11, Maglasang 3, Delator 3, Cometa 2, Saga 0, Tarrosa 0.
Quarterscores: 22-10; 37-31; 62-57; 95-63.