ATENEO and La Salle go for all the marbles on Sunday in Game Three of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament finals at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Blue Eagles and the Green Archers battle in the do-or-die match for the title at 3:30 p.m.
Ateneo looked headed for its ninth championship in the UAAP on Wednesday in Game Two. But the Blue Eagles collapsed and blew a 21-point lead against the Green Archers, 92-83.
The Blue Eagles took Game One, 76-70, in the series opener last week.
Expect another sellout crowd at the Big Dome as the UAAP basketball season goes down to the final game.
Despite the loss, Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin expressed confidence about the mindset of the Blue Eagles, hoping that the experience of playing a sudden death match against Far Eastern University in the Final Four will be a big help.
“I still think of it as a positive. I think that helps,” said Baldwin. ”Hopefully, it will help them enough to being the one of factors that gets us across the finish line on Sunday.”
The Green Archers essayed an epic comeback with Ben Mbala and Ricci Rivero spearheading the comeback to split the best-of-three series.
La Salle coach Aldin Ayo politely declined to be interviewed after Game Two, as the Green Archers look to once again avoid distractions for the all-important game.
After Game Two, La Salle veteran Prince Rivero told his teammates to give their all for the final match of the season.
“Sabi ko lang, you have to want it more than they do,” Rivero said. “Pareho naman tayo gustong manalo. May mas magtatrabaho. May mas magiging masipag.”