MANILA — The Ateneo Blue Eagles completed the most dominating season in the UAAP men's basketball tournament in the Final Four era by beating the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers -- the team that had the last sweep in 1993.
The Blue Eagles claimed the 2019 UAAP championship after downing the Growling Tigers, 86-79, in Game 2 of the finals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Wednesday night.
This time, Ateneo had to engage in a tight encounter against UST.
After the Blue Eagles dropped 31 points in the first quarter and were on track for another blowout, the Growling Tigers held them to just 11 points in the second quarter and scored 30 points of their own in the third quarter as the Tigers came to within five, 62-67, entering the final period.
The Tigers scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to cut the gap to just one, 66-67.
However, Ateneo muscled its way with a 17-5 run to put the game out of reach.
Thirdy Ravena put up 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Blue Eagles, which completed the first 16-0 season sweep in the Final Four era. He was eventually named the Most Valuable Player of the Finals.
SJ Belangel added 15 markers, one board, and one dime as they won for the 26th straight time dating back to last season.
Rhenz Abando led the Growling Tigers with 16 points, four boards, one steal, and two blocks, while regular-season MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo added 11 points, 19 rebounds, one assist, and one block.
The Tigers last swept their way to the title in 1993, the first time the Final Four rule was in place.
ATENEO 86 -- Ravena 17, Belangel 14, Ma. Nieto 14, Kouame 7, Navarro 7, Go 6, Maagdenberg 6, Wong 5, Daves 4, Mi. Nieto 3, Mamuyac 2, Andrade 0.
UST 79 -- Abando 16, Nonoy 14, Chabi Yo 11, Concepcion 8, Subido 8, Huang 7, Ando 6, Paraiso 5, Cansino 4, Bataller 0, Pangilinan 0.
Quarters: 31-18, 42-32, 67-62, 86-79. (PNA)