Ateneo delivers on promise to give graduating captain Vince Tolentino a UAAP title

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 4) — The Ateneo Blue Eagles fulfilled on the promise they made at the start of the season to team captain Vince Tolentino: graduate as a champion.

The Blue Eagles eked out an 88-86 win over archrivals De La Salle University Green Archers in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 80 finals Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

READ: Ateneo dethrones archrival La Salle to claim ninth UAAP basketball title

"For me, going into my last year, that was the only thing on my mind -- I wanted a championship," he said.

"And these boys promised me a championship. Since Day 1, we always talked about it, that we were going to get it," he added.

Tolentino finished his UAAP career with nine points and six rebounds.

READ: Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena dedicates UAAP title to Ateneo community

With the victory, Ateneo claimed its first men's seniors basketball title in five years.

"I'm so thankful and blessed to be part of this organization," Tolentino said.

After squandering a 21-point advantage and eventually losing in Game 2, the Blue Eagles held it together and were focused in finishing what they started.

"The motto of the team is always to believe. Even though we didn't finish the job in Game 2 and La Salle gave us a really good fight, we never stopped believing," he said.

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Tolentino had nothing but praise for head coach Tab Baldwin whom he said had a extensive grasp on developing talent.

"I've never had a coach like coach Tab. His mind is just full of basketball knowledge, for us young players, it's so important for us to develop at a young age, and coach Tab has done that and he will continue to do that in the program," he said.

"He's an amazing coach and probably one of the best coaches I've been coached under."

READ: Reigning MVP Ben Mbala looks at loss to Ateneo as a learning experience

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