University of Santo Tomas gets a second and last chance to get back at Ateneo when the Tigers and Blue Eagles clash today for the Philippine Collegiate Champions League crown today at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The finalists of the last UAAP basketball tournament collide in Game 3 of the title series at 3:30 p.m. with odds just about even, although the Tigers go into the match with a 2-1 record in their private war with the Eagles here so far.
After being swept by the Eagles to clinch a fifth straight UAAP crown, the Tigers gained some measure of revenge by winning their first encounter in the Final Four of this tournament before repeating with an 82-76 triumph in Game 1 of the title playoffs.
But the Eagles avoided a sweep and forged a winner-take-all showdown after Kiefer Ravena scored on a breakaway layup in the dwindling seconds to seal a 70-69 decision last week.
“We just have to bring our energy back,” said Ateneo assistant Gabby Severino. “Good thing about this series is we’re already familiar with their personnel, so it’s all about minor adjustments.”
Severino will again call the shots in the finale of the nationwide tournament even with newly appointed coach Bo Perasol already sitting on the Ateneo bench in Game 1 of the series.
“We’re going all out in Game 3,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.
The Tigers, who came out in full control over the Eagles in Game 1, will lean heavily on Karim Abdul, Jeric Teng and Kevin Ferrer.
This year’s champion will receive a bronze perpetual trophy and P700,000 worth of prizes.