SAN JUAN City – Thirdy Ravena hit a triple with nine seconds left to key Ateneo de Manila University’s escape over rival De La Salle University, 80-78, in the featured matchup of the 11th FilOil Flying V Premier Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre Sunday (June 11). The win was important as it moved the Blue Eagles back into contention for a berth in the quarterfinals later this month.
Benoit Mbala had just restored the lead to the Green Archers on a follow up of a Ricci Rivero missed layup with 18 ticks remaining, 74-73. Coach Tab Baldwin then called a timeout and the ball went to Ravena who hit the crucial triple plus a foul from Rivero.
“I did not want to let my teammates down when I took the shot because I saw how hard they worked all game,” said Ravena, who missed the bonus free throw but they collared the offensive rebound forcing DLSU to foul Matt Nieto. Nieto made both his charities to push Ateneo further ahead, 78-74.
DLSU responded with a quick basket by Leonard Santillan and then fouled Juwan White who restored the Blue Eagle’s four-point edge with two more free throws and four seconds to play, 80-76. A late basket by Mbala settled the final tally.
Anton Asistio set the tone for the Blue Eagles’ initial breakaway with three triples in the first half to finish with a team-high 13 points. Mike Nieto and Raffy Verano both came off the bench to add 10 points each with Nieto grabbing eight rebounds.
Mbala topped DLSU with 23 points and nine rebounds. Aljun Melecio followed with 20 points but no other Green Archer submitted twin digits after that as the defending champions fell to 4-3 and in danger of missing the playoffs.
How They Scored:
ATENEO DE MANILA (80) – Asistio 13, Mi Nieto, Verano 10, Ravena 9, White 9, Black 6, Tio 5, Ikeh 5, Mendoza 4, Go 4, Ma Nieto 2, Porter 2, Tolentino 1.
DE LA SALLE (78) – Mbala 23, Melecio 20, R. Rivero 8, Santillan 7, Gonzales 7, Baltazar 6, Caracut 5, Tratter 1, Tero 1.
Period Scores: 22-18, 36-33, 53-51, 80-78.