An undermanned Gilas Cadets squad, also sorely in need of practice as they only recently put together, succumbed to defending UAAP champion Ateneo, 75-69, on Opening Day of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.
Ateneo as well, was also coming off a long layoff and only these past two weeks began practicing with an uncomplete lineup due to academics, but the advantage of having played previously together as a team, was a huge factor.
Thirdy Ravena scored 16 points, including a dunk off a steal on Kobe Paras that sparked a fourth quarter run by the Blue Eagles.
The Tab Baldwin-mentored Ateneo squad led by as much as 15, 69-54, versus the cadet pool which is going to represent the nation in international tournaments due to the unavailability of the PBA players.
Ricci Rivero had a game-high 17 points for the junior national squad while Paras added 13 points. Juan Gomez de Liaño scored Gilas’ last eight points to finish with 11 markers.
“Participating in this tournament is good for us,” noted Paras of the effort. “We have our work cut out for us.”
The Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup is a member of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
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