UAAP Final Four: Ateneo back in finals for fifth straight time, eliminates FEU

Ateneo’s BJ Andrade. UAAP PHOTO

Defending champion Ateneo brushed off Far Eastern University’s hot start fashioning out a 85-72 victory Wednesday to barge into the best-of-three finals of the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Blue Eagles, smarting from a defeat that halted their 39-game winning streak, came out prepared against the Tamaraw’s razzle-dazzle style and never had to use their twice-to-beat shield going into their fifth straight finals appearance — 16 all in all.

Seven-foot Angelo Kouame made nine points, 18 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks, while BJ Andrade had 16 for Ateneo that went out to erase the memory of its 84-83 defeat to University of the Philippines at the end of the eliminations last Sunday.

Ateneo will wait for an opponent in the finals which begin on Sunday. La Salle and University of the Philippines clash one more time on Friday in their own Final Four duel.

Aware of Ateneo’s weak spot when the opponents start strong, FEU opened with a 6-0 start with flashy rookie RJ Abarrientos at the helm.

But the Tamaraws soon learned they lacked the faculty to sustain the blitz, let alone fend off the Blue Eagles’ counter-attack which began when Chris Koon converted a three-point play for a 22-18 lead that swelled from then on.

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