Ateneo's Thirdy Ravena flirted with a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
STAR/Joey Mendoza
Eagles repel Maroons for Game 1 win
Cris Santos (Philstar.com) - December 1, 2018 - 6:21pm

MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo de Manila University banked on the exploits of Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto to pull off an 88-79 win in Game One of the 81st UAAP men’s basketball finals at the jampacked Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

Ravena flirted with a triple-double performance as he finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists while Nieto registered a career-high 27 points to lead the Blue Eagles to a 1-0 lead in the series.

Ateneo can wrap it up on Wednesday and claim its 10th UAAP title.

“No question, UP deserves to be in the finals. We know it will be a good match-up whoever wins that (Adamson-UP) series and we have to make sure that we have a good offensive and defensive game plan in order for us to win,” said Blue Eagles assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

With Paul Desiderio misfiring, UP found a new offensive weapon in Game One in Jun Manzo, who led the team with 19 points and was responsible in keeping the Fighting Maroons in the game.

Diego Dario’s 3-pointer pushed UP within two, 71-73, with 5:45 remaining but Ateneo answered with a 14-2 run capped by Nieto’s triple to put the game out of reach, 87-73, 2:09 remaining.

Angelo Koume was held down to just seven points but grabbed 12 boards for the Blue Eagles.

Juan Gomez de Liano contributed 17 points and eight rebounds for UP, which faces another do-or-die game on Wednesday.

Bright Akhuetie had 10 but grabbed only five rebounds in 24 minutes. He left the game 6:31 of the third period due to a left leg injury and returned at 7:04 mark of the fourth perod.

ATENEO EAGLES MAROONS UAAP FINALS UAAP FINALS 2018
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