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Dec 01 18, 2:19 pm

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by | Sports

Dec. 01, 18 | 2:19 pm

The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles on Saturday, December 1, drew first blood against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball finals.

After a convincing performance from Ateneans Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena, the Blue Eagles were able to snatch the game 1 of the best-of-three finals series with a 88-79 win against the Fighting Maroons at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Blue Eagles pulled away early in the game with a 17-7 opener before the Fighting Maroons started their own comeback at the second quarter. Before the first half closed, UP point guard Jun Manzo pulled off a three-point buzzer-beater to slice down Ateneo’s lead to one, 39-38.

At the third, UP’s star player and expected most valuable player of the UAAP season, Bright Akhuetie, was pulled out of the game after hurting his knee following a bump with Ateneo’s Ange Khoume.

Despite Akhuetie’s absence, the Fighting Maroons still managed to keep the score close.

Akhuetie was brought back to the game during the fourth quarter with seven minutes remaining in the clock but despite the Maroons’ effort to keep the game close, the Blue Eagles eventually pulled away in the final minutes of the game after a 14-2 run to extend the lead to 14, 87-73.

The Blue Eagles did not look back and won the match 88-79.

Nieto had a career-high 27 points while Ravena had 21 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

Ateneo is a win away from winning their second straight UAAP men’s basketball title, and 10th overall.

Game 2 of the finals series will happen on Wednesday, December 5.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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