Ateneo De Manila University cruised to its second win after posting a nerve-wracking 74-70 double overtime win over defending champion National University (NU) on Wednesday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Blue Eagles created a four-way tie for the No. 2 spot with University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University and University of the East (UE) with 2-1 each.
NU and Adamson University remained winless in three games to stay at the bottom of the standings.
Veteran Kiefer Ravena nailed 21 points including crucial baskets in the extra period, and had seven rebounds, two assists and three steals while Chibueze Ikeh had a monster game of 14 points and 17 rebounds for the Blue Eagles.
“What can I say? It was a grind. Chibueze Ikeh stepped up today. He doesn’t have to prove anything at all,” said Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol.
It was his first win against NU since joining the Ateneo coaching staff in 2013. The last time Ateneo won against NU was in 2012 (70-56).
NU was actually leading, 57-54, when Ravena scored a booming triple in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter that sent the game into overtime, 57-all.
Another Ravena layup in the extra period also tied the game at 62-all with NU’s Gelo Alolino missing a potential game-winning basket that led to second overtime.
Alolino led the Bulldogs with 19 points and Alfred Aroga added 14.
UE, earlier, toppled Adamson, 89-78, to claim its second straight win in three outings.
Rookie Edison Batiller led the Red Warriors anew as he scored a career-high 23 points on top of eight assists and six steals while Paul Varilla contributed 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.
“I’m not surprised. I’ve seen what he [Batiller] can do. We had to dig deep for this win. We have to work hard. We have to make sure Adamson work for every point,” said UE head coach Derrick Pumaren, whose ward also shocked the Bulldogs last Saturday via a 76-71 decision.
Clark Derige chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds while Edgar Charcos and Fran Yu combined for 17 points for UE.
Four players finished in double digits for the Soaring Falcons led by Frederick Tungcab’s 16 and Nico Capote’s 15. Joseph Nalos had 14 and Harold Ng got 11 but wasn’t good enough to tow Adamson to its first win.
The Red Warriors dished out 28 assists, converted 24 points off Adamson’s 25 turnovers and had 24 fast break points.
UE will be facing Ateneo on Saturday at 2:00 pm with Varilla declaring “we have a better chance in beating Ateneo this season.”
“The boys are looking forward against Ateneo,” Pumaren added.