Ateneo de Manila University flashed their championship pedigree after comfortably edging a stacked Gilas cadets squad, 75-69, on Saturday at the at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Blue Eagles led by just four, 56-52, midway in the payoff period before a Thirdy Ravena steal and slam sparked a 13-4 run to give the defending UAAP champions their biggest lead of the game, 69-54, and virtually put the game away.
Ravena led an impressive team effort and ended with 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Adrian Wong added 13 points, while Mike Nieto chipped in 10.
Ricci Rivero top scored for the cadets with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, but had seven turnovers. Kobe Paras, on the other hand, struggled in his first game back in the country and tallied 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field to go along with three boards and three dimes.
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.
Quarter scores: 17-16, 29-27, 53-48, 75-69