Ateneo scores its first win in Israel, edging A.S. Ramat, 73-69

ATENEO head coach Tab Baldwin — THE UAAP

ATENEO kicked off its Israel straining camp on a bright note, scraping past pro club A.S. Ramat HaSharon with a 73-69 squeaker late Saturday night at the Oranim Sports Hall in Tel Aviv.

BJ Andrade came through with a go-ahead trey in the last 36 seconds as the Blue Eagles survived a near meltdown after a double-digit advantage in the waning minutes.

Mr. Andrade finished with six markers, all in the fourth period, while ace guard Dave Ildefonso bannered Ateneo’s attack with 27 points on five triples.

Forthsky Padrigao (10) and Josh Lazaro (9) threw in help while Ange Kouame had six in his return from meniscal sprain at partial ACL tear injuries, including the key block in the last 12 seconds to preserve Ateneo’s win.

Ateneo had a slow start before regaining groove in the second and third periods to erect a 54-44 lead. The Blue Eagles, however, needed Mr. Andrade’s heroics in the clutch when the home team clawed back to tie the game at 69 in the last minute.

The Blue Eagles, preparing for a revenge bid in the UAAP Season 85 after being denied a four-peat by University of the Philippines, face Elitzur Eito Ashkelon next at the Zysman Arena tonight.

The match will be streamed on the official Facebook page of SMART Sports like the game against Ramat HaSharon.

Meanwhile in South Korea, reigning UAAP champion led by Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Carl Tamayo held its own in a narrow 82-80 defeat against defending Korean Basketball League (KBL) champion SK Knights. — John Bryan Ulanday