Tio hits game-winner to lift Ateneo past Letran
Tyler Tio drained the go-ahead trey as Ateneo survived a gritty Letran side, 78-76, in a thrilling but foul-plagued game to post back-to-back wins in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The former Xavier star drilled the pressure-packed trey from the top of the arc to put the Blue Eagles up, 77-76, with 17.3 seconds left before Jeo Ambohot turned the ball over for the Knights in the ensuing possession.
Anton Asistio could only muster a split from the free throw line in the last 12.7 ticks that kept the door open for Letran, but Bong Quinto flubbed a baseline floater as time expired.
Tio paced Ateneo with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from threes, to go with three rebounds, while Thirdy Ravena chipped in 15 markers and six rebounds. Asistio got nine points, while Chibueze Ikeh had seven markers and nine rebounds.
The Blue Eagles may have won but their head coach Tab Baldwin was still far from satisfied with the way his boys performed.
“I think we worry about our character, our discipline in taking care of the ball. There’s too much coaching going inside,” he said. “We’re still immature.”
Ateneo escaped with the victory despite shooting 14-of-29 from the charity stripe after both teams combined for 52 fouls.
Rey Nambatac topscored with 25 points that went with five rebounds for Letran, which made its debut in the preseason tournament while Quinto and Jerrick Balanza added nine markers each.
ATENEO 78 – Tio 17, Ravena 15, Asistio 9, Ikeh 7, Go 7, Mi. Nieto 7, White 6, Verano 5, Ma. Nieto 3, Porter 2, Tolentino 0, Wong 0, Mamuyac 0.
LETRAN 76 – Nambatac 25, Quinto 9, Balanza 9, Caralipio 7, Calvo 6, Pamulaklakin 5, Ambohot 3, Gedaria 3, Taladua 3, Balagasay 2, Vacaro 2, Bernabe 2, Villanueva 0, Pascual 0, De Villa 0.
Quarters: 20-21, 31-33, 61-58, 78-76.
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