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Ateneo advances to Preseason Cup final

By Jerome Lagunzad

Unforgiving on the defensive end, reigning UAAP titleholder Ateneo repeated its mastery of Far Eastern University, 50-38, to book the first final seat in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan City.

Top wingman Thirdy Ravena finished with a team-high seven points while Ivorian big man Angelo Kouame hauled down 16 rebounds as the Blue Eagles leaned on a suffocating defense in the second half to foil the fast-starting Tamaraws.

With the hard-earned win, its 11th straight dating back to the elimination round, Ateneo advanced to the winner-take-all final showdown either against reigning two-time NCAA champion San Beda or upstart St. Benilde which is battling in the other semis paring as of press time.

Cameroonian center Prince Orizu tallied 11 points and 13 rebounds but the Tamaraws top guard Hubert Cani, fresh from a 22-point explosion in their 76-69 win over fierce rival La Salle in the quarterfinals the other day, was limited down to just eight points, no thanks to the Blue Eagles’ sustained pressure.