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Ateneo soars to FilOil playoffs with win versus Mapua

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Ateneo clinched a quarterfinal berth in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup after downing Mapua, 90-77, in the nightcap of a five-game bill at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Thursday.

The Blue Eagles used a fourth quarter breakaway to get past the Cardinals, who welcomed Allwell Oraeme back after a long layoff.

With the big men finding a hard time to score against the imposing presence of the reigning NCAA MVP, the guards once again took matters for Ateneo as Aaron Black led the team with 18 points and Jolo Mendoza added 11, most coming in the pivotal fourth period.

Thirdy Ravena came close to a double-double with 11 markers and nine rebounds of his own.

Oraeme finished with 13 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, and one block for Mapua, which ended their stint in the tournament with a 1-6 slate.

The Blue Eagles' final seeding in the quarterfinals will depend on the results of the Sunday games. A win against the San Beda Red Lions will put them at second place, but a loss could see themselves drop to as low as fourth depending on the result of the Adamson-UE game.

Box Scores:

Ateneo 90-Black 18, Ravena 11, Mendoza 11, Mi. Nieto 10, Tolentino 7, Porter 6, Wong 5, Ma. Nieto 5, Ikeh 4, Babilonia 4, Tio 4, Go 2, Banzon 2, Allmond 1

Mapua 77-Oraeme 13, Isit 13, Serrano 13, Estrella 12, Biteng 10, Orquina 8, Menina 2, Bunag 2, Aguirre 2, Dela Cruz 2, Victoria 0, Dela Rosa 0

Quarterscores: 21-16, 38-40, 62-63, 90-77

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno