No.1 seed Ateneo Blue Eagles forged a rematch against bitter rival De La Salle Green Archers after booking the last UAAP Season 80 finals ticket on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles, who finished the elimination round with a nearly immaculate 13-1 card, survived the FEU Tamaraws in overtime, 88-84, in a do-or-die game to advance to the championship round.
Ateneo will now try to get some measure of revenge against La Salle, the same team which swept the Blue Eagles last year to be crowned champions and handed them their only defeat in the eliminations.
The best-of-three finals, the sixth between the two rivals, will start on Saturday.
Thirdy Ravena scored 17 points and seven rebounds to pace Ateneo while Isaac Go who delivered the most crucial baskets for the Blue Eagles en route to a 13-point outing.
Down 75-72 in the dying seconds, the big man knocked down a clutch triple with 8.5 ticks left to tie the game.
FEU’s Arvin Tolentino then committed a turnover on the other end, allowing Ateneo to force overtime.
Go showed his nerves of steel once again in the extra period. With Ateneo hanging on to a slim 85-82 lead, Go was able to grab the offensive board off a Matt Nieto miss.
As he was losing his balance, he hoisted the ball for a putback off the glass that sealed the victory for Ateneo.