RECAP: Ateneo Blue Eagles Get Their Revenge Against DLSU, Capture Their 9th Championship Title.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The greatest sports rivalry in Philippine history squared off Sunday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum in the two best words any UAAP fan can hear: Game. 3.

Ateneo celebrated their 9th championship Thursday night (Photo Courtesy of LJ Mendoza)

The day before, tickets sold out before any announcement could be made, as fans already started camping outside Araneta coliseum as early as 1 am, leaving only General Admission tickets and tickets from resellers/scalpers the only ones available to purchase. The rivalry between DLSU and ADMU could be well seen through social media and fans. 

Like the first two games of the finals, the game had lots of physicality and spirit, as 22,012 were in attendance. ADMU quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead off buckets from C Chibueze Ikeh and F Thirdy Ravena. Threes were going in everywhere from both sides. At the end of the first, the Eagles led DLSU by double digits at 24-14. La Salle turned the ball over 10 times, mostly off deflections and fouls, in just the first quarter. 

In the second quarter, the Green Archers came back charging as their excellent defense led to a 10-1 run. Ateneo didn’t get their first field goal of the quarter until the 5:34 mark. ADMU was able to maintain their 2-4 point lead during the last 5 minutes of the quarter until DLSU Guard Ricci Rivero grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the post for a second chance opportunity, handing them a 38-37 lead, their first of the game. The Blue Eagles closed the first half on an 8-0 run including a heavily contested bank shot from three made by G Anton Asistio at the buzzer. DLSU outscored ADMU 24-21 in this quarter.

At the end of the first half, the score was 45-38 in Ateneo’s favor. Thirdy Ravena led all scorers with 11 points while the reigning back-to-back MVP Center Ben Mbala and G Andrei Caracut led the Green Archers with 7 points apart. the Green Archers had 14 turnovers with 3 steals compared to Ateneo’s 8 turnovers with 6 steals, but DLSU was able to outrebound the Eagles, 27-22. ADMU was shooting 44 percent from the field while being able to hold DLSU at just 37 percent. 

During the beginning of the second half, shots were going in for both sides as was the great defense. DLSU G Aljun Melecio was able to drive through the lane for the 51-50 lead over Ateneo but Matt Nieto quickly responded with a three of his own to take back the lead for ADMU, his first since missing his first three in the game. The next few possessions turned to a three point shootout, with a total of three lead changes in a span of just 2 minutes. Ricci Rivero came up with two highlight plays during this stretch, one being a behind the back dribble slicing through defenders and a one handed baseline jam off a steal to snatch a 60-59 lead over Ateneo. At the end of the third, the game is tied at 66. La Salle again outscored Ateneo 28-21.

Now in the last 10 minutes of the season, DLSU’s star players Ben Mbala and Ricci Rivero were both playing with three fouls each. Matt Nieto finally recaptured the lead for the Eagles with a three pointer and Asistio made it a back-to-back three which was all part of their 8-0 run to make the lead 76-68 in Ateneo’s favor with just 5 minutes left in the game. DLSU shot poorly from the perimeter as they were 0-for-7 until Aljun Melecio shot a three to keep DLSU’s hopes for a repeat alive. DLSU came up with several clutch plays including a 4 point play from Mbala and Rivero and a clutch three from G Andrei Caracut to cut Ateneo’s lead to just 2. With less than a minute left, Ateneo led 82-80. Ateneo C Isaac Go came up for the dagger once again with a contested three. Aljun Melecio’s second chance three wasn’t enough as ADMU sealed the game with two free throws. As time expired, Andrei Caracut threw a three pointer that counted. 

Ricci Rivero and Ben Mbala of DLSU hug each other in tears in defeat (Photo Courtesy of Ian Genada)

Ateneo captured their 9th championship, their first in 5 years. They now lead the all-time finals series against La Salle, 3-2. The Adamson Soaring Falcons won 2nd runner-up while the De La Salle Green Archers won 1st runner-up. Isaac Go won the Manulife Heart and Hustle Player while the PS Bank Player of the Finals and UAAP 80 Finals MVP was awarded to Thirdy Ravena, who averaged 16.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.3 SPG in three games throughout the Finals.

​The Bull Squad Scores Big at Red Bull Reign!

May 29, 2017 (MANILA, Philippines) – This past Saturday, 27th, 2017, a total of 8 teams comprised of finalists from the four previous Qualifiers (Cebu, Manila A, Manila B, Last Chance) squared off at the Red Bull Reign Finals at the Nagtahan Bridge Court, Pasig River, in Manila. In the end, the Bull Squad took home the victory and the chance to represent the Philippines at the Red Bull Reign World Finals.
Red Bull Reign is Red Bull’s signature 3×3 basketball tournament that pits hopefuls against one another in a high-endurance, offensive-driven battle that ends with over 15 countries sending their best to compete at the World Finals in Washington DC, USA.

The rules are simple: the team that scores the most overall points in each round will advance until one team remains. 

The final eight (8) teams consisted of:
  • Cove MNL F&B
  • San Remegio Properties
  • Team Santa Rosa
  • Balandra Squad
  • G3 Apparel
  • Bull Squad
  • Obladi Oblada

The afternoon witnessed a series of exciting round robin-style matches that showcased a number of styles on the court. The semi-finals saw three rounds of intense back-to-back contests between Team Santa Rosa, Bull Squad, Balandra Squad, and G3 Apparel, which consisted of Eric Tai and previous Red Bull King of the Rock Philippine Representative, Willie Miller. Team Santa Rosa and the Bull Squad emerged victorious and advanced to the finals with a total score of 83 to 67.
Following a hotly competitive match, the Bull Squad took home the Philippine Championship, with a final score of 27 to 20. The team consists of Filipino-Canadian PBA hopefuls, Clay Crellin and Glenn Gravengard, Kitt Paolo Balmori, and Team Captain, Obinna Ezeike.
 “The semi-finals were the biggest challenge”, Crellin shares. “We started at 8:30 in the morning, so the other teams had the advantage because they got to rest.”
The Bull Squad came into the semi-finals after having started the day by conquering the Last Chance Qualifiers in the morning. In spite of playing at a physical disadvantage, the Bull Squad managed to dig deep and power through the semi-finals and finals in order to cement their place as the first-ever Red Bull Reign Philippine Champions.

“We were hungry”, said Gravengard. “We wanted it more.”

The Last Chance Qualifier and Finals were held at the Nagtahan Bridge Court, Pasig River, Manila. The event was attended by members of the local Barangay, who had supported Red Bull’s efforts to clean up their portion of the Pasig River the weekend before. In addition, Red Bull Doodle Art finalists, Rojan Elmo Barcelon and Manuel “Meow Meow” Liwanag, created murals at the base of the bridge, just across the street from the court.

“I’m very happy to have Red Bull here and its activities,” said Barangay Chairwoman Purisima P. Albasin. ”I’m very proud of my court and it really brings a lot to my Barangay and the people who live here.”
PBA veteran Vince Hizon served as director, overseeing each back-to-back match-up throughout the entire duration of the tournament. “This has been incredible. 3×3 is a great way for teams and individuals to really improve their skill and hone their craft. I’m happy for the Bull Squad, they really are the best team to represent the country at the World Finals.”

The Bull Squad advances to the Red Bull Reign World Finals in Washington DC, USA, later this year. The Philippine Champions had a simple message to send to their international competition: “You better watch out, we’re coming!”
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Bull Squad will represent PH in Red Bull Reign World Finals in Washington DC

After 3 gruelling days of competition, Philippines finally crowned its representatives in Washington DC for the Red Bull Reign 3-on-3 World Finals that will be held later in the year.

The Bull Squad, led by Fil-Canadians Clay Crellin and Glenn Gravengard, ruled the Red Bull 3-on-3 tournament to represent the PH flag in USA.

The half brothers were just to much for the other teams specially in the championship game where they outlasted an All-Filipino squad, Team Sta. Rosa via 27-20 in front of hundreds of people in Nagtahan Bridge Court.

They edged Willie Miller-led G3 to make the finals due to superior quotient, flaunted an outstanding shooting and ball handling skills while defending Team Sta. Rosa’s three point shooting which is their bread and butter throughout the competition.


Their 2 other members who contibuted good numbers as well are Nigerian, Obinna Ezeike and Filipino, Kitt Balmori.

Red Bull Reign also presented a Slam Dunk Competition which won by High-flyer David Carlos.
He was just too much for other dunkers as he jump over a motorcycle for a one-handed windmill dunk and leaping over two people in his final dunk.