MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo survived a late-game rally by a taller Southwestern University, 77-72, in the 2013 Filoil Flying V Premier Hanes Cup Saturday night at the Arena.
The Blue Eagles were poised to break the game wide-open early in the fourth quarter, building a 15-point lead, but the Cobras still pulled within four with a 19.4 seconds left to play.
Ateneo, behind Kiefer Ravena and Chris Newsome, managed to grind it out — and even build a large lead — against SWU, which alternated three burly Cameroonians the entire game.
“Nakita naman natin advantage nila samin. Atleast we caught up sa rebounds kaya nakalayo kami sa second half,” said Ravena in the post-game interview.
Ravena finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Nico Elorde added 19, built around four triples.
The “five-peat’ UAAP champions, though, obviously reeled from the loss of their big men like Justin Chua and Greg Slaughter, who were pivotal in their run last year.
Ryan Buenafe and Juami Tiongson did not play.
“We have a long way to go, I still could not gauge the full extent of what we could do. There are a lot of us that are not still here, good thing that those who are stepped up,” said head coach Bo Perasol.
The Cobras, though, who arrived in Manila last Thursday, managed to keep in step with the Blue Eagles despite having a home court ‘disadvantage.’
But 24 turnovers — compared to just 12 for the Blue Eagles — doomed the Cesafi champion, which paved way to 21 fastbreak points for Ateneo.
Bon Guillena finished with 23 points for SWU, including six straight points with 1:55 to play that sparked their comeback. Fabrice Siewe added 12 points.
ATENEO – Ravena 22, Elorde 19, Newsome 14, Pessumal 7, Golla 5, Erram 5, Murphy 4, Babilonia 1, Lim 0, Tolentino 0, Asistio 0.
SWU – Guillena 23, Siewe 12, Sanjo 9, Arong 8, Bautista 6, Aboude 4, Panerio 2, Goloran 2, Otida 2, Bregondo 2, Pajantoy 2, Ortega 0, Holper 0, Escobio 0.
Quarters: 12-16, 32-31, 60-46, 77-72