Basketball

Kiefer Ravena the hero as Ateneo escapes NU in double OT

InterAksyon.com/Ver Marquez

InterAksyon.com/Ver Marquez

Kiefer Ravena delivered when it was needed the most, scoring 21 points and burying crucial shots down the stretch to lift the Ateneo Blue Eagles to a 74-70 double overtime win over defending champion NU Bulldogs in UAAP Season 78 action Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Ravena, hounded by NU defense all game long and only shot seven-of-26 from the field, fired the game-tying triple to force overtime and complete a comeback by Ateneo which was down by five points in the dying seconds.

Ateneo was still down, 55-50, with just 34.6 seconds left when Ravena scored a putback off his own triple miss to trim the Blue Eagles deficit to three, 55-52.

Jerie Pingoy then forced a steal and made two free throws to pull Ateneo closer, 55-54. Ateneo then sent Gelo Alolino to the free throw line, with the Bulldogs guard making free throws with 16.7 seconds left.

Ateneo called a timeout but lost the ball after getting called a five-second inbound violation. However, the Blue Eagles made up with the blunder when Hubert Cani quickly got a steal.

Ravena then pulled up for a triple right before the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime.

Both teams exchanged leads in overtime, but Ravena tied things up at 62-all after a strong dive and a layup with 5.7 seconds left.

Alolino tried to hit the game-winner for NU but his shot just trickled out of the rim.

It was almost the same story in the second overtime, this time with Ateneo, having free throw woes, taking a 71-68 lead with 15 seconds left. Pingoy was sent to the line but missed his both free throws.

However, Alolino had the last touch, bringing the ball back to Ateneo. Ravena split his free throws which was followed by a quick NU basket.

But Ravena got away with a layup on the other end to settle the final score.

Ravena added seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. He got ample help from Chibueze Ikeh who piled up 14 points and 17 boards, 14 of which are offensive as they led Ateneo which improved its record to 2-1.

Alolino finished with 19 points and eight boards for reigning champion NU which remained winless at 0-3.

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