MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo had to go through the wringer in neutralizing a scrappy San Sebastian squad, 75-70, Wednesday in the 2013 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
It was the second victory, all down the wire, for the Blue Eagles in the pre-season tournament as they squeeze in as much games before they fly for their training in the United States and Japan.
“It’s something we have to get used to [close games]. Because, as I told them, it’s not going to be easier when it comes to rebounding and blocking out,” said head coach Bo Perasol.
The Blue Eagles drew key baskets in the last four minutes from their one-two punch Kiefer Ravena and Chris Newsome, who also led the scoring with 19 and 16, respectively.
Earl Murphy also shone for Ateneo with five points in just four minutes — all in the fourth quarter — including the go ahead undergoal stab with 3:57 and a freethrow to give Ateneo a 73-70 lead with 14 ticks left.
They were outrebounded, 43-53, but more than made up for it with 20-10 edge in assists and fastbreak points, 15-9.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 53-48 lead, Ateneo yielded the next seven points, paving way for San Sebastian to snatch the lead.
The Blue Eagles regained the lead on a basket by Murphy, then Ravena stretched the lead, 68-62, with a looping triple with 2:57 left.
The scrappy and youthful Stags, though, pulled within two on a baseline floater by Jovit Dela Cruz with 22.4 seconds left, before freethrows from Ateneo sealed the game.
Jon Rebollos led with 17 points, Bradwyn Guinto added 15 and 19 rebounds, while two others finished in double digits for San Sebastian.