ISAAC Go sparked Ateneo’s fourth quarter breakaway as it downed Far Eastern University, 50-38, on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan to progress to the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup Finals.
The tireless forward’s five straight points broke the 31-all stalemate as the Blue Eagles ran away with the victory in the payoff period.
“This is kind of the ugly game that we liked and the players found a way to win,” said coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
Ateneo now braces for the winner of the San Beda-St. Benilde semifinals for its date in the championship on Saturday.
Thirdy Ravena topscored for the Blue Eagles with seven points and five rebounds in the low-scoring affair, while Angelo Kouame only got six points but hauled down 15 boards in the win.
Anton Asistio and Raffy Verano also had six points each as Ateneo silenced FEU in the final canto, 20-8.
Both teams shot an identical 26-percent clip, even having identical shooting nights from the field that saw them miss 49 of their 66 shots.
What worked in the Blue Eagles’ favor, though, are the free throws, going 13-of-18 from the charity stripe against the Tamaraws’ 2-of-5 night from the 15-foot line.
“Our players talked and gathered themselves and played normal in our system. We didn’t do anything spectacular, but the coaching staff is very happy with how we played defense because they stepped it up when we’re not playing that good in our offense,” said Arespacochaga.
Prince Orizu led FEU with 11 points and 13 rebounds, but committed five turnovers in the defeat.
Hubert Cani failed to sustain his hot streak, amassing only eight points, three boards, and two dimes for the Tamaraws.
With reports from Gillian Geronimo and Kate Reyes
ATENEO 50 — Ravena 7, Asistio 6, Kouame 6, Verano 6, Go 5, Navarro 5, Ma. Nieto 5, Mi. Nieto 4, Belangel 3, Maagdenberg 3, Black 0, Mamuyac 0, Mendoza 0, Tio 0, Wong 0, White 0.
FEU 38 — Orizu 11, Cani 8, Tuffin 7, Escoto 4, Iñigo 4, Tolentino 3, Stockton 1, Bienes 0, Comboy 0, Eboña 0, Gonzales 0, Parker 0, Ramirez 0.
Quarters: 9-16, 21-22, 30-30, 50-38.