Blue Eagles escape Green Archers behind Ravena's clutch triple
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles survived their UAAP archrivals the De La Salle University Green Archers through a three-pointer by Thirdy Ravena with 9.2 seconds remaining to get away with an 80-78 thriller in the Flying V Filoil Preseason Cup, Sunday, June 11 at the Flying V Center, San Juan.
“I was just lucky,” said Thirdy Ravena who had 9 points, 5 rebounds and two blocks.
“I made sure to keep my composure and my emotions intact. I tried to stay in the moment because the game wasn’t over yet.”
"We looked a little better today. It's nice to win but still it's a lot of work to do," said Blue Eagles coach Tab Baldwin. "It was a big shot by Thirdy but we don't want to rely on big shots. Though it’s good that we get one when we need it.”
Ateneo connected 4 three pointers in the last quarter that made all difference the Blue Eagles needed to send the Green Archers’ arrows down to the ground.
Andrei Caracut performed when his team needed him the most and drained a 3-pointer with only 2:37 in the clock but Ben Mbala got into foul trouble that let Ateneo’s Duane White sink in an attack plus a free throw to put the Blue Eagles ahead, 73-68.
It was an intense and physical game as tension between the two teams were felt all throughout the game.
But the physicality exploded in the 3rd quarter when Aljun Melecio and Ateneo's Anton Asistio were given a technical foul apiece while Isaac Go and Ben Mbala were warned for taunting.
Sharpshooter Asistio topscored for Ateneo with 13 points as he also powered the blue-and-white with his 4-out-of-5 3-point attempts while Mike Nieto and Rafael Verano scored 10 markers apiece.
Big man Mbala gave all his 23 points and 9 rebounds as Melecio and Ricci Rivero scored 20 and 8 points, respectively.
Both teams started with the same intensity but Ateneo fought harder to take the first quarter, 22-18.
The Blue Eagles further displayed effort to push a 10-3 run early in the second period but Aljun Melecio answered with a triple to breathe life to the Green Archers and make it a one-point game but still wasn't enough to take home the victory.
Ateneo holds on to a 3-2 win-loss record while crowd favorite La Salle fell to their 3rd loss against 4 wins. – Rappler.com