The Ateneo Blue Eagles displayed tremendous poise and team work down the stretch to start its 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup campaign with a 75-69 win over the Gilas Cadets, Saturday night at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Thirdy Ravena led a balanced Blue Eagles attack with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals highlighted by a steal and a dunk off Kobe Paras that sparked a telling 4th quarter run by the reigning UAAP champions.
Up by just 4 points, 56-52, during the opening minutes of the final period, the Blue Eagles dropped a 13-2 bomb to establish their biggest lead at 15, 69-54.
The Cadets however refused to go down without a fight as Juan Gomez de Liaño took matters into his own hands by scoring 8 straight points.
The effort proved futile though as Ateneo maintained their distance with key baskets to pull off the opening day win.
Come-backing Ateneo point guard Adrian Wong poured in 13 points while the Nieto brothers, Mike and Matt, had 10 and 9 points respectively.
Former DLSU standout Ricci Rivero led the Cadets with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Kobe Paras scored 13 but shot a measly 5 out of 14 from the field while Gomez de Liaño added 11 points.
Up next for the Cadets are the rebuilding DLSU Green Archers who are coming off a win against UP.
Ateneo 75 – Ravena 16, Wong 13, Nieto Mi 10, Nieto Ma 9, Go 7, Kouame 5, White 5, Belangel 4, Maagdenberg 3, Asistio 2, Navarro 1, Mamuyac 0, Credo 0.
Gilas cadets 69 – Rivero R 17, Paras 13, Gomez de Liano 11, Tratter 8, Ambohot 5, Gozum 4, Tolentino A 3, Tuffin 3, Tolentino V 3, Rivero P 2, Desiderio 0, Mocon 0.
Quarters: 17-16, 29-27, 53-48, 75-69.