DEFENDING champion Ateneo-A got a big scare from Fatima University before escaping with an 89-84 overtime win Saturday as Jerie Pingoy suited up for the Blue Eagles at the start of the 18th Fr. Martin Summer Cup basketball tournament at the St. Placid gym of the San Beda College.
The Blue Eagles lost Pingoy, the two-time UAAP junior Most Valuable Player whose transfer from Far Eastern University has sparked a controversy, to an injury at the start of the extra period, but got a lift from regulars Juami Tiongson, Ryan Buenafe, and Kiefer Ravena.
With the score tied at 75-all at the end of regulation, Pingoy got hurt and the Phoenix readily pounced on the Blue Eagles’s two turnovers to take an 80-75 lead on a pair of baskets by Jerome Juanico and a free throw from Rommel Tornacion.
But baskets from Ravena, Tiongson, and Buenafe allowed the Blue Eagles to turn the tables on the Phoenix and regained the upperhand, 83-80.
Ravena, who finished with 21 points, put the five-time defending UAAP men’s champion out of range, 85-80, after converting on two free throws in the last 22.6 seconds.
Ravena's free throw with 11.1 seconds remaining also forced the overtime period.
The Phoenix, coached by former San Beda star Ralph Rivera, appeared headed for an upset by taking a 75-70 lead off Jovin Datu’s gift shot with 2:05 remaining before Ateneo's rally.
In the other seniors encounter, Ateneo-B leaned on two triples by Marty Mercado and Ace Basas’ nine points in the extra five minutes to beat the Lyceum Pirates also in overtime, 80-74.
In the junior division, Marc Framil had 18 points for San Beda-A, which walloped Ateneo Blue, 128-47, while San Beda-B demolished Ateneo White, 83-44.