La Salle sweeps Ateneo to capture UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball crown

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The UAAP men’s basketball crown heads back to Taft Avenue.

The DLSU Green Archers swept their archrivals Ateneo Blue Eagles, 79-72, in Game 2 of the Finals to clinch their ninth UAAP championship on Wednesday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Jeron Teng capped off his final game for the Green Archers with a performance to remember scoring 28 points, grabbing three rebounds, and dishing out two assists.

Determined to close out the series, La Salle took a 10-point advantage at the halftime break.

Isaac Go's putback trimmed the Green Archers' lead to four, 73-69, with 1:35 remaining in the final period. But Ben Mbala's throwdown in the ensuing play put the nail in the coffin.

"We're confident when we execute our game plan. We knew that the outcome will be positive," DLSU head coach Aldin Ayo said in a press conference.

"We're thankful that we achieved our goal," he added.

League MVP Ben Mbala contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Taft-based squad.

Related: Winning UAAP title in first season 'sweet', says Mbala

Mike Nieto paced Ateneo with 18 markers and three rebounds.

The scores:

La Salle (79) — Teng 28, Mbala 18, Montalbo 9, Melecio 7, Caracut 5, Perkins 4, Torres 3, Tratter 2, Rivero 2, Sargent 1.

Ateneo (72) — Mi. Nieto 18, Wong 10, Verano 10, Asistio 9, Go 8, Ikeh 6, Ma. Nieto 4, Ravena 3, Black 2, Tolentino 2, Porter 0, Babilonia 0.

Quarterscores: 22-16, 45-35, 59-52, 79-72.