Ateneo forged a UAAP Season 81 baseball Finals duel with De La Salle following a 11-10 victory over University of Santo Tomas Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Rodrigo Bitong and Kiko Andaya delivered the goods in the final two innings to erase the Growling Tigers’ 10-8 lead and complete the Blue Eagles’ come-from-behind win.
After missing the bus last year, Ateneo is back in the championship
The last time the two fiercest rivals met for the crown was in 2016, where the Green Batters ended a 13-year title drought via a 2-0 Finals sweep of the Eagles.
De La Salle became the elimination round topnotcher at 8-2 and completed a sweep of the second round with a 21-9 dismantling of University of the Philippines.
Ateneo finished second with a 7-3 card.
The best-of-three championship between the Green Batters and the Eagles will start on March 29.
In softball, National University and University of the Philippines will dispute the remaining Final Four berth at 10 a.m. Thursday at the same Malate venue. The winner of the knockout match will face reigning eight-time champion Adamson University in the semifinals starting on Saturday.
The other semis pairing pits No. 2 De La Salle and No. 3 UST. The Lady Falcons and the Lady Batters earn twice-to-beat bonus in the Final Four after finishing 1-2 in the double-round eliminations.