Updated 15:38 PM PHT Fri, December 2, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The stage is set for another chapter of the storied Ateneo-La Salle rivalry.
This will be the fifth time in UAAP history that the Green Archers and Blue Eagles vie for the ultimate prize in collegiate basketball - their previous meetings were in 1988, 2001, 2002, and 2008.
DLSU's road to the finals came via a 13-1 record, bowing down to Ateneo towards the end of its elimination round campaign. The Green Archers went on the Final Four carrying a twice-to-beat advantage getting past the gritty Adamson Falcons.
Ateneo, meanwhile, shocked a lot of critics after clinching the second spot in the eliminations. The Blue Eagles dethroned the FEU Tamaraws after two grueling matches in the final four.
For Blue Eagle guard Thirdy Ravena, he admits Game 1 of the finals against the mighty Green Archers will be an uphill climb.
"It's going to be a tough game. La Salle is the best team in the tournament. We're going to do whatever it takes and play our hearts out," he said.
Who do you think will win Game 1 of the #UAAPFinals?— Sports Desk (@sportsdeskph) December 2, 2016
Both Ateneo and DLSU are seeking their ninth UAAP men's seniors basketball crown since joining the league in 1978 and 1986 respectively.
Even going in as the clear underdogs won't stop coach Tab Baldwin and his crew from achieving their goal.
"We're going to fight just like what we do every single game," Ravena said.
The best-of-three championship affair begins on December 3 (Saturday) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.