‘No-tomorrow’ UAAP finals

REIGNING champion Ateneo and University of the Philippines (UP) clash for supremacy in a winner-take-all Game 3 of University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 84 men’s basketball Finals on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Blue Eagles pushed the best-of-three series to the limit scoring a 69-66 victory in Game 2 on Wednesday behind Season Most Valuable Player Ange Kouame’s dominating performance of 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks.

But Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin is bracing for a tougher UP in the 6 p.m. encounter.

The Fighting Maroons, he said, are expected to do whatever it takes to end a 36-year title drought.

“Heading into Game 3, we have to put everything that happened in Game 2 behind,” Baldwin said. “We have a whole new challenge in front of us, so whatever work we did, whatever sacrifices we made in the last few days, they’re no longer significant.”

UP Coach Goldwyn Monteverde said they will fight with pride until the last second of the game just what they did in Game 1 on Sunday when they pulled off an 81-74 overtime win.

“Our team takes a lot of pride and we never give up in games. Whatever the score is, we are fighting until the end of the game,” Monteverde said. “We’re going to work on solving our mistakes and definitely improve our game. Even though it’s a one-day break before Game 2, we still talk about things and really work hard for it.”

Rookie of the Year Carl Tamayo had 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Ricci Rivero added 16 points in Game 2 for UP.

The Fighting Maroons last won the title in 1986 with now legends Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano at the helm.