MANILA – Ateneo Blue Eagles cruised to a clinical 91-77 victory over the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball finals last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ilonggo Ferdinand “Thirdy” Ravena III ignited the Blue Eagles’ offense with 32 points, with 18 coming in the opening half, to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
Ivorian import Angelo Kouame chipped in double-double 18 points and 12 rebounds as Negrense Samjosef Belangel contributed 12 markers.
The Blue Eagles moved a win closer to a third straight UAAP title.
It surged to an 18-2 start behind Kouame and Ravena. The Tigers was able to cut the deficit to single digit but hits by Ravena increased the lead to 32-17.
The Growling Tigers showed some life in the second period. They cut the deficit to 38-40 on consecutive hits by Mark Nonoy. The Blue Eagles, however, answered with triples from Belangel for a 54-39 edge at the half.
Ateneo went on with its onslaught in the third period behind Ravena as the lead reached its largest at 23 points. UST came to within 15 but Ateneo had answers to ice the victory.
For the Tigers, Negrense rookie Nonoy was the lone bright spot with 26 points, Brent Paraiso added 14 markers, while Soulemane Chabi Yo had double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds./PN