FULL-STRENGTH Ateneo truly showed how powerful it is, turning back San Beda, 62-56, Saturday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig to advance to the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League President's Cup Finals.
Thirdy Ravena put the exclamation point to the Blue Eagles' Game Three conquest with a gutsy triple from the top of the arc with 22.9 seconds that made it a five-point game, 61-56.
He would go on and put the finishing touches in the victory with a split from the line, capping off his 14-point, 5-rebound and 2-assist effort to lead Ateneo to the titular clash.
The Blue Eagles will meet University of the Visayas Green Lancers in the knockout championship game on Monday.
Angelo Kouame returned with a bang for Ateneo with his 13 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocks as he more than made up for his absence in Game Two.
Adrian Wong chipped in 10 points as BJ Andrade had eight and four.
Finally parading a full squad, the Blue Eagles looked poised to seize control of the game as they held a 41-24 advantage in the third quarter.
But the Red Lions slowly chipped the lead away in the fourth quarter, with Donald Tankoua knotting the score at 55 with an undergoal stab with 2:38 to play.
Kouame quickly responded with a three-point play on the other end as Ateneo's defense held fort in the closing moments of the game before Ravena's game-sealing dagger.
San Beda banked on James Canlas, who led the way with 14 points, six rebounds, and two steals, as Tankoua wound up with 10 points and 12 boards.
Ateneo 62 - Ravena 14, Kouame 13, Wong 10, Andrade 8, Ma. Nieto 5, Berjay 3, Mamuyac 3, Navarro 2, Go 2, Mi. Nieto 1, Tio 1, Belangel 0.
San Beda 56 - Canlas 14, Tankoua 10, Nelle 9, Doliguez 7, Soberano 5, Etrata 4, Cuntapay 3, Oftana 2, Alfaro 2, Abuda 0, Bahio 0, Carino 0, Visser 0, Obenza 0.
Quarterscores: 10-7; 34-24; 53-42; 62-56.