Philippines hacks out scary victory over Taiwan, boosts Jones Cup bid
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Matt Nieto buried a booming triple with a fraction of a second to go as the Philippines, represented by Ateneo, stunned Chinese Taipei Blue, 77-76, last night to bolster its title hopes in the 40th William Jones Cup at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Down by a point, 75-76, after Ying Chun Chen hit two free throws with 3.1 seconds to go, Phl coach Tab Baldwin designed a perfect play for Nieto, who came out of multiple screens to drain the game-winning three with .29 second to go.

It was the Filipinos’ fourth straight win and fifth overall against two defeats that pushed it just a game behind Canada, Iran and South Korea, which shared the lead with a 6-1 (win-loss) record apiece.

The Phl could end up tied on top if it beats Iran and Canada and South Korea loses to Japan and Taipei Blue in today’s final playdate.

The Filipinos nearly blew the game as Thirdy Ravena fouled a driving Chen, who calmly sank a pair of foul shots to give Taiwan the lead with 3.1 seconds left.

Good thing Baldwin set up Nieto for the dagger shot.

The victory came after the Phl waylaid Lithuania’s LSU Atletas, 98-65, Friday.

The scores:

Ateneo-Phl  77 – Nieto, Ma. 13, Navarro 11, Kouame 8, Tio 8, Ravena 7, Mamuyac 7, Wong 6, Verano 6, Nieto, Mi. 4, Go 4, Maagdenberg 3, Mendoza 0

Chinese Taipei-Blue 76 – Cheng 24, Ying-Chun 17, Yi-Hsiang 12, Long-Mao 9, Po-Chen 6, Guan-Quan 6, Douglas 2, Chun-Yen 0, Yu-An 0, Zhi-Wei 0, Huang 0

Quarterscores: 18-18, 36-35, 57-56, 77-76

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