WATCH: Ateneo-Philippines stuns Chinese Taipei National Team to claim 4th solo spot in Jones Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Down by 1 and with just 3 seconds left, Coach Tab Baldwin relied on his gunner, Matt Nieto to win the game, 77-76 versus host Chinese Taipei Team A on July 21, 2018 at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.

Matt Nieto just need 3 seconds to win the game versus host Chinese-Taipei
Matt Nieto just need 3 seconds to win the game versus host Chinese-Taipei | Photo Credit: Chinese Taipei Basketball Association

For some teams, facing and playing against the homecourt team is quite a challenge especially with the crowd cheering behind that squad. But for Team Philippines, it’s really such a great pleasure to go toe-to-toe against Chinese Taipei in the Jones Cup.

So far, the Ateneo-Philippines was able to defeat one of Taiwan’s two teams, the Chinese Taipei Blue Team or Team B and it was a convincing blowout win for the Blue Eagles and it will be such an honor to replicate the victory against Chinese Taipei Blue or Taiwan’s national team.

SEE ALSO: Ateneo-Philippines in Jones Cup 2018: Livestream, schedule, result and standing

As expected, Chinese Taipei Blue is a much tougher squad than its grassroots sister team, Chinese Taipei White. The Blue Eagles were draining significant numbers but they had hard time to totally leave their opponents behind.

Piling turnovers and weak defense from the inside hindered Ateneo’s potential breakaway lead. The Blue Eagles however kept the game close despite getting booed by the Chinese fans every time they had the ball.

The Taiwanese beat the Filipinos in the steals department that resulted to a bunch of turnovers and losing their scoring advantage.

Ateneo simply missed the services of its bigman, Isaac Go who had been pivotal in the previous games especially their game against Indonesia where the “Tycoon” dropped 21 big points and timely three pointers

Speaking of three pointers, the Blue Eagles lacked in that aspect in this crucial game that could’ve been their primary weapon against Chinese Taipei who had outscored them with fastbreak points led by Liu Cheng late in the 3rd quarter.

Philippines’ 8-0 run, spearheaded by flashy guard Gian Mamuyac, gave Ateneo a very slight edge over Chinese Taipei entering the final period.

Liu Cheng was simply unstoppable and uncontainable. The Chinese Taipei forward made big buckets off Philippines’ 18 unbelievable turnovers.

The game was tied at 74-all, 22 ticks left in the ballgame and Chinese Taipei had the possession. Chen Hao Wei melted the clock and drove to the basket at the 0.4 mark but got stripped by Thirdy Ravena. The King Eagle however was whistled for a foul and Chen sank his free throws for the 2-point lead.

With 3 seconds left for Philippines, Matt Nieto got opened during the inbound at the three point area. The Ateneo shooter confidently hit it up and won the game, 77-76 with a buzzer beater.

Ateneo-Philippines enhanced its record to 5-2 and has a chance to finish the Jones Cup tournament for the third place if they beat Iran tomorrow, July 21, 2018 at 3PM.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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