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Filoil Preseason Cup: Gilas Cadets close out campaign on positive note with win over EAC

The Gilas Cadets ended their campaign with an 82-69 win over the EAC Generals in the 12th Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Cadets finished the tournament with a 4-5 win-loss card, while EAC stayed winless at 0-8.

Matt Nieto was named Player of the Game after scoring 15 points, including four-three pointers, in just 12 minutes.

During the post-game interview, Nieto expressed how much the Gilas Cadets grew throughout the tournament.

"At the very start we lacked defense and communication. But as the games went on we were able to identify our strengths and weaknesses," he said. "We learned to trust ourselves and our teammates. We came from different schools and programs but we had to get on the same page."

The game was close midway through the second period with the Generals trailing only by two, 26-24. But the Cadets created separation with a 16-7 run for the remainder of the quarter to go up 42-31 at the half.

Gilas relied on their three-point shooting, knocking down 7-of-19 in the first half, and turnover points to gain a double-digit advantage. Tuffin paced the way in the first two quarters with 10 points.

The Cadets kept their foot on the gas pedal, extending the lead to 20 points at the 4:56 mark of the third, 59-39. But EAC kept fighting and unleashed an 11-3 run to close the gap, 62-50, heading into the final period. Gilas regained momentum to open the final canto with a 7-2 spurt -- capped by a layup from Isaac Go -- to widen the margin to 17 points, 69-52, a little over seven minutes left.

The Generals were able to bring the deficit down to 13 a few possessions later but Gilas kept the pressure on until the end of the game to take their fourth victory.