ALSO-RAN Perpetual Help hindered Ateneo’s march to the quarterfinals with a stunning 60-59 win on Wednesday in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.
Flash Sadiwa broke a 57-57 tie, eluding Thirdy Ravena to score a lay-up with 1:13 left in the fourth before surviving anxious moments to finish their Filoil preseason campaign with a 3-5 win-loss slate.
Ateneo's loss also allowed La Salle (4-3), the team which the Blue Eagles beat over the weekend, to stay alive in the race for the quarterfinals.
Perpetual Help escaped with a few ill-advised decisions in the latter stage of the match. Protecting a three-point lead, Prince Eze attempted a lay-up, instead of milking the clock, before the Altas fouled Tyler Tio while throwing up a three-point shot with no time remaining.
Tio, however, missed the second free throw to avert an overtime session for the Altas.
An Ateneo win would have eliminated La Salle from the quarterfinal picture to become the first reigning champion in the Filoil preseason tournament to be ousted before the playoffs.
"Our guys just came out and play," said Perpetual Help coach Nosa Omorogbe. "The guys just got ready for this game and we are just happy to come out with the win."
Eze finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, and six blocks, while Sadiwa had 16 markers and 10 rebounds. Also having a double-double outing was Jeff Coronel, who added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Altas, who played without injured Gab Dagangon.
Mike Nieto had 14 points for the Blue Eagles, who are back in a tie for fourth-place with the Green Archers following the defeat.
Perpetual Help 60 - Eze 18, Sadiwa 16, Coronel 12, Yuhico 5, Ylagan 3, Singontiko 2, Pido 2, Clemente 2, Lucente 0, Tamayo 0, Mangalino 0, Casas 0.
Ateneo 59 - Mi. Nieto 14, Mendoza 8, Go 7, Ravena 6, White 6, Ma. Nieto 5, Mallillin 5, Asistio 3, Tio 2, Ikeh 2, Andrade 1, Tolentino 0, Porter 0, Black 0, Verano 0.
Quarters: 18-10, 28-25, 48-36, 60-59.