Eagles clinch No. 1 spotThis victory is much more impressive than the final score indicates. The Blue Eagles came back from deficits of 11 (first quarter) and 18 (third period) points to win over an FEU squad that, man for man, may have more talent. They also overcame the loss of reigning MVP Al-Hussaini and supersub Nico Salva due to fouls at crunch time.
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – With one improbable comeback, Ateneo deftly applied the finishing touches to its march to the top spot.
The Blue Eagles completed the biggest rally of the season as they squeaked past the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in a 74-73 thriller that locked up the No. 1 seed in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Struggling all game long, reigning MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini delivered the defending champions from an 18-point deficit and straight into a favorable showdown against gasping University of Santo Tomas in the Final Four.
“Our mission is accomplished as far as getting the No. 1 spot,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black after the Blue Eagles wrapped up the elimination round with 10 straight victories for a league-best 13-1 record.
For the second straight year the Blue Eagles finished the eliminations with a 13-1 record. The playoffs, the real season, is next. Let's see if the defending champions can duplicate last year's magical postseason run.
The Lady Eagles finished their season at 4-10 after bowing to UP.