THE Ateneo Blue Eagles dethroned the La Salle Green Archers to win the championship of the men’s basketball event of UAAP Season 80 in Game 3 of their best-of-three Finals series.
Isaac Go once again came up big for the Blue Eagles as a dagger trey upped their lead from a precarious 85-83 to 88-83, with 24.7 seconds remaining in the game before a capacity crowd of 22,000 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday.
Aljun Melecio’s three-pointer from close to midcourt settled the final score, 88-86.
Thirdy Ravena was adjudged the Finals MVP.
It was the first championship for Coach Tab Baldwin for the Ateneo after a runner-up finish in Season 79, also against La Salle. It was Baldwin’s first year as Blue Eagles coach at that time.
Before this, Ateneo has won eight UAAP basketball titles, the last in 2012, part of its historic “five-peat”, which started in 2008, under then coach Norman Black. The three others were in 1987, 1988, and in 2002.
In a gesture of sportsmanship, La Salle along Taft Avenue in Manila turned blue to honor the champions.