ATENEO escaped with a 68-65 win over Far Eastern University on Saturday to keep its slate unblemished and clinch a Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
SJ Belangel and Dave Ildefonso combined for 15 points in a pivotal third period that saw the Blue Eaglets take control after falling behind by 12 points.
The Blue Eaglets remained unbeaten after 10 games, four victories away from a sweep and an outright finals spot.
Belangel had seven of his game-high 20 points in the third.
Ildefonso had eight of his 11 points for the Blue Eaglets, who outscored the Baby Tamaraws, 21-10, in the third.
Two free throws by Joaqui Manuel with three seconds remaining in the game increased their lead to three points. L-Jay Gonzales missed a triple in the final possession of the game.
SJ Belangel had 20 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Kai Sotto added 16 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks for the Blue Eaglets, who trailed 20-10 in the first period. Manuel added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
RJ Abarrientos had 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Gonzales, Royce Alforque, and Xyrus Torres each had 12 points for the Baby Tamaraws, who slipped to 5-5.
Ateneo 68 - Belangel 20, Sotto 16, Manuel 12, Ildefonso 11, Credo 9, Escalona 0, Chiu 0, Angeles 0, David 0, Jaymalin 0, Lopa 0.
FEU 65 - Abarrientos 16, Alforque 12, Gonzales 12, Torres 12, Sajonia 10, Celso 2, Ona 1, Boc 0, Tolentico 0, Mariano 0.
Quarterscores: 10-20; 25-33; 46-43; 68-65.