Against a jampacked and hostile crowd inside the Xinzhuang Gym, Matt Nieto kept his poise, draining a clutch three-pointer to lift Ateneo Pilipinas past Chinese-Taipei’s Men’s National Basketball Team, 77-76, Saturday evening.
Down by just a point with 3.1 ticks remaining, Thirdy Ravena was able to find Matt Nieto from the other end of the floor to put Ateneo up. With no timeouts left, the Taiwanese threw the ball away as the crowd stood in silence of what had just happened.
Nieto finished the game with 13 points, knocking down three triples in the contest.
A costly whistle almost cost Ateneo the game.
With Ateneo Pilipinas knotting the game at 74-all after a loose ball dive by Ravena that led to a Gian Mamuyac layup, Ravena was called for a late foul that led to free throws by Chen Ying-Chun with just 3.1 seconds left.
Beyond his seven points, Mamuyac played his best game of the tournament as he did it on both ends to keep the young Filipinos in the game during the second half. Ravena had seven points as well to go along with five rebounds and four assists.
Besides the trio, there were a lot of heroes for the Blue Eagles.
William Navarro had another excellent outing, tallying 11 points and nine rebounds, helping keep Ateneo on pace with their opponents.
When Chinese-Taipei tried to break the game wide open in the third frame — leading by as much as seven points, 56-49, Tyler Tio rallied the Blue Eagles back by knocking down back-to-back triples to close out the quarter. Tio added eight points off the bench.
Ateneo kept their poise even if Chinese-Taipei had them rattled, forcing them to commit an uncharacteristic 22 turnovers in the contest.
Liu Cheng was unstoppable in the game, tallying 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and seven steals. Chen Ying Chun added 17 markers.
Eight of Chinese-Taipei’s 12 players played in the 2018 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Chinese-Taipei though did not make it to the next round.
With the win, Ateneo Pilipinas stays in the hunt for a podium finish. Canada (6-1), Iran B (6-1), and South Korea (6-1) are the teams above the Philippines.
The Philippines takes on Iran B on Sunday, July 22 at 3:00pm.
Philippines 77 – Nieto Ma. 13, Navarro 11, Tio 8, Kouame 8, Ravena 7, Mamuyac 7, Wong 6, Verano 6, Nieto Mi. 4, Go 4, Maagdenberg 3, Mendoza 0.
Chinese-Taipei 76 – Liu 24, Chen Y 17, Chou Y 12, Hu 9, Chou P 6, Chen G 6, Douglas 2, Peng 0, Chang 0, Lin 0, Zhen 0.
Quarterscores: 18-18, 36-35, 57-56, 77-76.
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