UAAP Finals: Ateneo, UP cagers in awe of resounding Game 1 crowd
Philip Matel on Dec 01, 2018 08:46 PM
The seaside venue was filled to the rafters as 21,608 blue and maroon-clad spectators cheered and jeered in Ateneo's 88-79 win in Game One of the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Finals.
Players from opposing sides of the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Finals were in complete amazement of the supportive crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The seaside venue was filled to the rafters as 21,608 blue and maroon-clad spectators cheered and jeered in Ateneo's 88-79 win.
UP's crowd was noticeably larger, as the community watched their first UAAP Finals game since 1986.
However, the Ateneo crowd was not to be outdone, as their supporters fed energy to the defending champions.
For Ateneo's Matt Nieto, who has faced archrivals La Salle in the past two championship series, he noticed a much more different atmosphere than those supporting the Green Archers.
"Yung crowd nila, ibang-iba sa Ateneo-La Salle. Their crowd is bigger, they are noisier and rowdier," the point guard said.
He however clarified that he was not putting down the Archers' audience, and likened it to their own supporters.
"Pero yung UP, talagang intense at gusto nilang manalo. Ikaw pa naman thirty-two years hindi makapasok sa Finals so we understand."
For last year's Finals MVP, Thirdy Ravena, the sights and sounds of the UP crowd were something to be respected, for he understands a 32-year old drought is something one does not see everyday.
The star forward also thanked the Ateneo crowd for giving them a much-needed morale boost, especially when UP zeroed in on their lead.
"Kahit outnumbered, naramdaman pa rin namin suporta nila. In terms of game situations, di namin hinahayaang madala kami sa emotions ng crowd kasi we have to do our job to our best of our abilities."
Juan Gomez de Liaño meanwhile shared his disappointment of not giving his boisterous crowd the victory.
"The crowd was crazy. To be honest, UP crowd gave us so much energy. Sadly, we didn’t get the W so we have to do a better job."
Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Finals continues this Wednesday, Dec. 5, 3:30 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. It will be seen LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A, S+A HD, iWant, and via livestream.
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