2018 Jones Cup: Blue Eagle rally falls short against Canada

Ateneo Blue Eagles 78 – Canada 86

The Ateneo Blue Eagles gave Team Canada quite a scare with a furious comeback rally in the final period. Unfortunately, that rally wasn’t enough as Canada did enough early in the game to build a big enough cushion to hold off the Blue Eagles.

Canada started the game on fire. They zoomed out to a 9-0 lead, holding Ateneo scoreless for the first three minutes of the game. They continued to scorch the nets in the first quarter as Ateneo failed to get their footing defensively. Canada shot 7/10 from the two point range and 7/10 from three-point land as they ran out to 35 points in the first quarter. On the other end, the Blue Eagles could only muster 14 points, facing a 21-point hole the rest of the way.

The Blue Eagles slowly chipped away at that lead. Their defense was more solid as they prevented Canada from scoring more than 18 points for the next three quarters. Ateneo’s offensive push came in the second half. They scored 27 points in the third quarter to cut Canada’s lead down to 14 points. Matt Nieto, Thirdy Ravena and Adrian Wong all hit big three-pointers in the third quarter. Ateneo went 5/7 from three-point land in that stretch.

The Blue Eagles went on a 7-0 run midway through the final period to cut the lead down to single digits. That run was highlighted by a spin move layup by Ravena, followed by a big chasedown block to give his team momentum. Ravena nailed a three-pointer and Nieto hit freebies to cut the lead down to just six points with less than a minute left in the game. But that was the closest Ateneo would get. Canada had enough left in the tank to pull out the win.