MANILA – The UP Fighting Maroons and Ateneo Blue Eagles will see each other in the UAAP men's basketball finals anew after deposing their respective foes in their semifinal match-ups on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Fighting Maroons booked the first seat in the finals after beating the NU Bulldogs, 69-61.
UP finished the game on an 11-0 run to overturn a 58-61 deficit midway through the fourth quarter and eliminate NU.
Malick Diouf, the presumptive regular season Most Valuable Player, led the Maroons with 17 points, 21 rebounds, and three blocks.
Jake Figueroa led the Bulldogs, who were once at the top of the team standings before falling to the third seed with a twice-to-beat disadvantage, with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
In the nightcap, the Blue Eagles put a screeching halt to the Adamson Soaring Falcons' Cinderella run with an 81-60 beating.
Ateneo pulled away midway through the third quarter, going on a 19-0 run to turn a slim 39-33 lead into a 58-33 cushion.
The team would lead by as much as 30 points before settling for a 21-point win.
Forthsky Padrigao led the Blue Eagles with 16 points, three rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Jerom Lastimosa struggled all game long but still led Adamson with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Game 1 of the UP-Ateneo championship series, the third time it will happen in the last four seasons, will take place on Sunday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. (PNA)