Kiefer Ravena's last-gasp basket clinches Ateneo win over fighting UST Tigers
Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena celebrates with teammates after the win. Jerome Ascano

KIEFER Ravena scored 17 points including the game-winner in Ateneo's pulsating 63-61 victory over University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Ravena converted a high-arching shot over Karim Abdul with 3.7 seconds left to play to clinch the win for the Blue Eagles, who climbed to a share of first place with National University on 5-1 win-loss cards.

Ateneo coach Bo Perasol said he actually thought of discouraging Ravena from taking those looping shots similar to the game-winner because the King Eagle had been missing them all night.

“I was tempted to tell Kiefer not to take those looping shots. He has been missing that all night. He wanted to take that shot. But knowing Kiefer, he will find a way to hit his shot,” said Ravena.

“It’s going to be a grind against a very tough UST team. Both of us have a bench that are very young and have starters that are mature. It all boiled down to match-ups in the end."

Chris Newsome had a team-high 18 points and scored on a three-point play with 48 seconds to play that gave the Blue Eagles a 61-60 lead.

Kevin Ferrer split his two free throws with 23.1 seconds left to tie the game but his desperation heave after Ravena’s marginal jumper came nowhere close to going in.

Karim Abdul had 19 points and 12 rebounds while Aljon Mariano added 12 points for the Tigers, who dropped to 3-2 after seeing a three-game win streak come to an end.

The Tigers appeared to have turned the tide when Mariano hit a go-ahead three-pointer and Abdul converted a lay-up for a 60-58 advantage in the endgame.

The scores:

Ateneo (63) – Newsome 18, K. Ravena 17, A. Tolentino 14, Elorde 6, Pessumal 2, Gotladera 2, Porter 2, Capacio 2, T. Ravena 0, Babilonia 0.

UST (61) – Abdul 19, Mariano 17, Vigil 11, Ferrer 4, Daquioag 4, Sheriff 4, Lao 2, Subido 0, Lo 0, Pe 0.

Quarterscores: 14-15; 28-25; 46-45; 63-61.

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