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Nieto silences Xinzhuang as Ateneo nicks Chinese Taipei at the death

Matt Nieto immortalized his name into the rivalry of Philippines and Taiwan in basketball when his three-ball stunned the Jones Cup hosts. Franchesca Nicole Collantes/Dugout Philippines (file)

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--Matt Nieto hit the biggest shot that sent Taiwanese basketball into its nadir in recent memory, as Ateneo stunned the senior side of Chinese Taipei in a 77-76 nail-biting win in the Jones Cup Saturday evening in New Taipei's Xinzhuang Gym.

The incoming senior point-guard fired the wide open, game winning triple with 0.3 remaining to push its podium hopes alive by moving up to 5-2 ahead of their final tiff with Iran tomorrow.

Nieto fired 13 points for the Blue Eagles, who had to overcome their horrific 22 turnovers by hitting 9/26 from downtown, including the walk-off trey for the reigning UAAP champions

Cheng Liu's near triple-double of 24 points, 10 boards and seven steals only went down the the drain as they made the huge mistake when Chen Ying-Chung made both free throws to put them up by two 76-74 with 3.1 seconds left, earning the ire of head coach Charlie Parker when Tab Baldwin called the final timeout for the visiting sides.

The loss also ended the Taiwanese chances of a podium finish, as they had dragged down not just to 4-3, but also to the lowest point of basketball in the country.

The Scores

ATENEO 77 – Matt Nieto 13, Navarro 11, Kouame 8, Tio 8, Ravena 7, Mamuyac 7, Wong 6, Verano 6, Mike Nieto 4, Go 4, Maagdenberg 3, Mendoza 0

CT BLUE – Cheng 24, Ying-Chun 17, Yi-Hsiang 12, Long-Mao 9, Po-Chen 6, Guan-Quan 6, Creighton 2, Chun-Yen 0, Yu-An 0, Zhi-Wei 0, Huang 0

Quarter scores: 18-18, 36-35, 57-56, 77-76

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