Ateneo books Final 4 slot after win over Adamson 79-72By Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo turned back Adamson 79-72 to assure itself of a final four spot Sunday in the UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Nico Salva and Kiefer Ravena teamed up down the stretch as the Blue Eagles solidified their position of a top two finish with a 10-2 record.
“We executed a lot better this game. The ball movement was much better,” said Ateneo head coach Norman Black, recalling his team’s stunning 77-79 loss to University of the East last Thursday.
Salva, who only had six points in his last outing, bounced back with 24 points, 12 in the final frame, while Ravena made the defensive stops including back to back steals that keyed in an Ateneo surge in the final two minutes.
“We have to continue working and pushing,” said the graduating Salva, who went 11-of-14 from the field. “We have to finish strong.”
“The team I always talk about these guys is one being is unselfish and always giving their effort on the defensive end,” added Black.
A steal by Ravena led to a strong drive by Salva that made it 77-72 before another theft and finish by the six-foot sophomore put the game away 79-72, 1:08 left.
The Falcons, who dropped to 2-10, went scoreless in the last two minutes.
The Blue Eagles have a tough schedule ahead with a Thursday encounter with National University before finishing the eliminations with a date against University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.
Adamson forward Eric Camson had a game-high 26 points.
Seven-foot Greg Slaughter added 16 points and 12 rebounds while Ravena chipped in 15 points.