After an off-season of hiding from the local spotlight, the Blue Eagles breezed through to their first win of the Season against the projected cellar-dwellers, Adamson Falcons, 79-57 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Ateneo kept a relentless pace throughout the game, forcing Adamson to 22 turnovers and notching 22 points off of those opportunities. The Katipunan based squad’s stifling defense also forced Adamson to shoot only 29 percent from the field.
The Blue Eagle defense also keyed on Adamson’s main weapon as they effectively trapped Celedonio Trollano and made him settle for outside shots. Trollano, who is expected to lead the Falcons in scoring, finished with seven points on atrocious 3 for 13 shooting.
With both teams loaded with young talent, Ateneo’s veterans edged them through in their highly anticipated debut. Ateneo hotshot, Kiefer Ravena came out of the gates blazing as he led all scorers with 22 points on nine for 18 shooting, highlighted by a baseline dunk on two Adamson players. Ateneo swingman Chris Newsome pitched in with his usual disruptive defense while also gathering 12 points and eight rebounds.
Former San Beda Red Cub, Arvin Tolentino, showed his full offensive arsenal as the Ateneo rookie bombarded the opposing defense from all-over the floor amassing 12 points in the process. Ateneo’s other blue chip recruit, Thirdy Ravena was hampered by foul trouble and failed to score in his five minutes on the floor.
Former Letran Squire, Ivan Villanueva, gave Adamson fans something to cheer about in the team’s romping. The Falcon rookie put up 12 points and gobbled up nine boards. Adamson’s other rookies – 6’7, Matt Aquino and former SWU Cobra, Airo Nalos – foiled under the bright UAAP lights as they struggled to produce anything but turnovers for the Falcons.
“It’s like coaching players without baggage pa,” said Ateneo Head Coach, Bo Perasol about this new Ateneo Squad.
“They just wanted to prove that even though they were recruited right out of High School, that they can play,” he continued.
Ateneo will face the defending UAAP champs and perennial rivals, DLSU Green Archers on Sunday, July 20, on an unusually early tip-off time of 11 a.m.
“Walang edge ang Ateneo against against La Salle… I don’t think any basketball aficionado will give us a chance against La Salle,” said Perasol.