Ateneo, SBC win opening games in Filoil cage war

Posted at 04/14/2012 7:10 PM | Updated as of 04/15/2012 10:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Ateneo De Manila University (AdMU) kicked off its title-retention bid in this year’s Filoil Flying V Pre-Season Hanes Cup by beating Letran at The Arena on Saturday.

Powered by a lineup that includes Keifer Ravena and Greg Slaughter, the Blue Eagles outlasted the Knights, 55-51.

Slaughter led Ateneo with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. Ravena added 15 points.

The game also saw the return of Ryan Buenafe to the Eagles after a 1-year hiatus.

Ateneo, which beat San Beda College for the title last year, wants to make it twice in a row as it prepares for the upcoming UAAP season.

In the other game, Filoil contender San Beda thwarted former UAAP titlist De La Salle University (DLSU).

The Red Lions, reigning NCAA men’s champions, outgunned the Archers, 69-63.

De La Salle tried to cut San Beda’s 16-point lead in the 3rd quarter, but came up short of overtaking the Lions in the 4th.

Julius Armon finished with 11 points.

The game was also a clash of new coaches for the two teams.

Former College of St. Benilde head coach Gee Abanilla has taken the Archers' helm, while PBA veteran Ronnie Magsanoc called the shots for the Red Lions, replacing coach Frankie Lim.

Participating teams are using the two-month competition as part of their buildups for the UAAP and NCAA basketball tournaments. -- With a report from ANC