UAAP Finals: Ateneo snatches Game 1 from UST, 73-72
12 noon - UST vs FEU (Women's)
2 p.m. – Ateneo vs FEU (Juniors)
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs UST (Seniors)
The Ateneo Blue Eagles stole Game 1 of the 69th UAAP Finals from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers after forward Doug Kramer shot a miraculous undergoal stab with a second remaining to give the Katipunan-based cagers a 73-72 victory over their foes.
UST was leading by one-point with a second remaining when Ateneo point-guard Macky Escalona threw an inbounds pass from midcourt to a waiting and unguarded Kramer who was able to catch and shoot the ball to give their team the victory to the delight of thousands of Ateneo students, alumni, and supporters who trooped to the Araneta Coliseum for the epic encounter.
Prior to Kramer’s game-wining play, UST stalwart Allan Evangelista was able to score on a tight five-foot jumper from the ride side of the court to push the Tigers ahead, 72-71, with only 4.3 seconds remaining.
Ateneo coach Norman Black then called his final timeout, which set up the game-winning play.
"It was an unbelievable victory. I hope we can take it (the title) this coming Thursday," Black said.
With the win, Ateneo has a big advantage going to Game 2 of the UAAP Finals this coming Thursday also at the Big Dome. If the Blue Eagles win, they will get their first championship since 2002 and their fourth overall since joining the league in the 80s.
It was a nip and tuck affair during the 24 minutes of the ballgame with UST leading 47-44, during the halftime break.
The Tigers, considered the underdogs of the series, kept the game tight against the Eagles throughout the game.
Ateneo led UST in the first quarter, but the España cagers tied the score at the end of the second and third quarters at 35-35 and 57-57.
JC Intal, a leading candidate for the UAAP Most Valuable Player award, was named as the Gillette Vector Plus Player of the Game after he registered 21 points, six rebounds, 1 assist, one steal for the Blue Eagles cause.
Jervy Cruz, who had a monster game for UST during their do-or-die game against the University of the East (UE) last Thursday, led again the Tigers cause with 20 big points, four of which came during the first four minutes of the ball game.
One department that UST could look into is their free-throw shooting, as they made only 13 out of 25 tries from the 15-foot line.
Eaglets beat Baby Tamaraws
Defending champion Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglets exacted revenge against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Baby Tamaraws, scoring a 73-65 victory to tie their series at one game apiece during Game 2 of the UAAP Juniors basketball championship also at the Big Dome.
The win propelled the Eaglets to a winner-take-all match against the Baby Tamaraws in Game 3 of the championship encounter also this Thursday.
Ateneo’s Luis Gonzaga and Lorenzo Katipunan were named as best players of the game as they led their team to victory.
Gonzaga had 18 markers, five rebounds, an assist and a steal for the Loyola Heights-based squad.
Katipunan, meanwhile, finished with 16 points, five rebounds and a 4-10 shooting percentage from the three-point arc.
In women’s play, the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws also tied their own series with the UST Growling Tigresses at one-all, after drubbing their foes, 75-67. - GMANews.TV