Timely Thirdy Ravena trey helps Ateneo Blue Eagles beat La Salle in preseason thriller
Thirdy Ravena mobbed by Ateneo teammates after the clutch trey. Dante Peralta

THIRDY Ravena drained a crucial three-pointer with 9.2 seconds left as Ateneo beat archrival De La Salle, 80-78, in a thrilling Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup match on Sunday.

Ravena found the mark on a three-point jumper from the left corner to give the Blue Eagles the lead for good, 76-74, in a hot-tempered match that saw a number of technicals called on both sides.

Ravena was fouled in the play but missed the bonus free throw.  Ateneo grabbed the offensive rebound and Matt Nieto hit two free throws for a four-point lead that practically sealed the win.

Ateneo climbed to 3-2 (win-loss) in the Group A standings to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinal seat against La Salle, which slipped to 4-3.

San Beda is currently in first place in the group with 6-0 while Jose Rizal University and Lyceum follow at 5-1 and 5-2, respectively.

Anton Asistio had 13 points while going 4-of-5 from three-point land while Mike Nieto and Raffy Verano chipped in 10 points each in the Blue Eagles' victory.

Ravena had nine points in the game but his only three-point attempt of the match proved to be the dagger that Ateneo needed to close out the hotly-contested win.

"Our first game back the other day, we were rusty. We were a little better today but it's preseason, it's summer league, it's nice to win and play well in patches. But still, there is a lot of work to do," said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin.

Things got chippy in the third quarter between the archrivals when Asistio found himself at the receiving end of an unsportsmanlike foul from Andrei Caracut.

Asistio and Aljun Melecio were later called for technical fouls for an altercation that prompted players and even bouncers to separate both sides on the floor.

When the commotion was finally settled, Ateneo quickly seized control of the game after two Nieto triples gave the Blue Eagles a 67-62 lead halfway through the fourth period.

The Blue Eagles, however, found themselves on the ropes when the Green Archers went on a 6-0 run capped by a Ben Mbala follow-up with 18.7 seconds to play for a 74-73 lead.

Mbala finished with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Melecio had 20 points on 3-of-8 shooting from beyond the three-point arc for the Green Archers.

The scores:

Ateneo 80 - Asistio 13, Mi. Nieto 10, Verano 10, Ravena 9, White 9, Black 6, Tio 5, Ikeh 5, Go 4, Mendoza 4, Ma. Nieto 2, Porter 2, Tolentino 1.


DLSU 78 - Mbala 23, Melecio 20, Ri. Rivero 8, Santillan 7, Gonzales 7, Baltazar 6, Caracut 5, Tratter 1, Tero 1.

Quarterscores: 22-18, 36-33, 53-51, 80-78.

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