It was a tense game for the finals of UAAP Season 85. But ultimately, was Ateneo Blue Eagles reclaimed the championship.
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The sporting world loves a redemption story. From underdogs to champions, that’s the stuff people live for. And for fans and followers of Season 85 of UAAP’s Men’s Basketball, that’s exactly what they got as after months of ups and downs, it was the Ateneo Blue Eagles that soared to great heights once again to claim the championship that some thought they wouldn’t get.
As season 85 began, the UP Fighting Marrons were looking to make history again after they beat Ateneo to win the Season 84 title. And during the early moments of Season 85, they looked to be doing just that. By the end of the first half of the season, UP was dominant and at the top of the leader boards while second placers Ateneo faced a series of struggles and losses. The doubt among some fans and sports commentators for Ateneo was real. But it turns out that UP’s claim of the championship trophy was just on loan now that it’s back on the other side of Katipunan.
THE BATTLE OF KATIPUNAN ROUND 2
After losing game one of the finals, an ascendent Ateneo fought hard to win game two, ultimately leading to a final game three on December 19. Thousands of UP and Ateneo fans flooded the Araneta Coliseum to see what was an intense match. At one point, Ateneo was leading by as much as 20 points during the third quarter, which was then whittled down to just three during the last twenty seconds of the game. But that wasn’t enough for UP to clinch the win with Ateneo winning with a score of 75-68.
Undoubtedly, MVP Ange Kouame was not just the star of Ateneo, but of the whole game. He scored a total of 19 points and solidified his status as one of the best imports in the UAAP’s history. What makes it even better was how this was his last ever game with Ateneo and ends his collegiate career with three UAAP championship titles. While coach Tab Baldwin faced flack throughout most of the season, he proved once again how his famed coaching skills should never be doubted. One of the best coaches in UAAP history whipped the team from underdogs into winners.
ATENEO TOWN CENTER— Jack (@jack__cordero) December 19, 2022
Overall, it was Ateneo’s fourth win in five years and 14th UAAP title. That isn’t to say though that the Fighting Maroons did give a good fight. James Spencer lead his team with 14 points followed by Harold Alarcon with 12. And speaking of, he got himself one of the best moments of the game when he did this during a free throw. All season long, UP stood out as a dominant team. And with CJ Cansino returning to the team next year, they’ll be a force to watch our for.
BLUE EAGLES FLYING HIGH
Congratulations to the Ateneo Blue Eagles. It was a hard-fought win and as expected, the boys are celebrating accordingly.
@bdlkapitana14 yung mga mic and phones 😂😂😭😭 #tabbaldwin #ateneoblueeagles #uaapseason85 ♬ original sound – Kapitana BDL
2022 started with UP claiming their first UAAP title in over three decades and it ended with Ateneo getting that championship win back. It reads like the premise of a sports movie. Ateneo really swatted away those underdog allegations to reclaim what was once there’s. We can already smell burning wood with Ateneo’s bonfire celebration this January 21.
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