Ateneo held off a furious UP run during the fourth quarter to pull away for a 96-82 win. With the win, Ateneo goes up to 13-0. They are just one win away from the finals, and regardless, they are just 3 wins away from the championship. UP falls down to 5-8, however, they still has a chance of making it to the Final Four, but their fate are not entirely in their hands.
It was a total team effort for the Blue Eagles, with 5 Ateneans scoring in double-figures. Matt Nieto led the way with 19 points; Isaac Go and Gian Mamuyac scored 13 points each while Thirdy Ravena and Vince Tolentino scored 10 points each. Juan Gomez de Liano scored 21 points for the Maroons while Paul Desiderio scored 16 points and Jun Manzo chipped in 13 points.
UP will face NU during their last game of the elimination round this Saturday. FEU will face Adamson after that game. The winner of the UP-NU game must hope that FEU loses against Adamson, if that happens, there will be a playoff for the last Final Four slot. If FEU wins this Saturday, FEU will get the last remaining Final Four slot.
Ateneo will face rivals La Salle this Sunday. If Ateneo wins, they sweep the elimination round and go straight to the best-of-three Finals, while the rest of the remaining teams will compete in a step-ladder format to determine the other finalist. If La Salle beats Ateneo, then we will have the traditional Final Four setting.