Thursday, 29 November 2012 3,926 Views / 61 Comments
With 18.6 seconds left and with a second to spare on the shot clock, the UST Growling Tigers called a timeout to mount their final play, hopefully to extend their lead.
While the Growling Tigers were focused on winning, Kiefer Ravena had other ideas – a game winner to extend the series. UST executed. Kevin Ferrer got the leather, fumbled then attempted a desperate trey that went off the mark.
The Growling Tigers forgot to make the necessary stop and were expecting a shot clock violation, leaving Ravena to do his bidding.
All alone for the kill, Ravena knocked down the breakaway layup off a baseball pass from Tonino Gonzaga to help the Blue Eagles escape the menacing Growling Tigers, 70-69, in their 2nd game of their best of three finals series of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) 2012 finals.
“We wanted to win,” said Ravena who finished with 21 points and 4 rebounds at the Arena in San Juan City.
It was almost a win by UST, who opened the final period with a 10-0 blast highlighted by a rare four-point play from Jeric Teng to snatch the lead for the first time, 59-57, until that great escape by Ravena.
It was a dogfight in the final five minutes as Ravena drained a trey to extend their lead to four, 68-64, but moments later, Jeric Fortuna answered back with his own conversion to close the gap, 68-67, with 3:02 left.
The Growling Tigers were in front with 1:53 remaining after a crucial steal from Aljon Mariano for that lead pass to Kevin Ferrer, 69-68.
“We were in the same scenario, we relaxed in the fourth quarter,” he added referring to their game one meltdown when the Growling Tigers outscored them 3-12 in the payoff period.
UST, a squad known for their ability to comeback, actually outscored the Eagles in the second half, 39-27, with 20 points in the final period.
The Katipunan-based squad had an explosive opening quarter with Gonzaga and Ravena sizzling hot from beyond the arc nailing back-to-back treys apiece to post the biggest margin of the game with 19 points, 28-9.
Ateneo continued the onslaught in the second frame with Greg Slaughter scoring 6 of his 14 points, including a slam, posting a 13 point lead at the half, 43-30.
The Growing Tigers were stunned, but had decent 11.4 seconds to steal the game. Frustrated, the España-based squad failed to capitalize on their final possession.
“Fumbled the ball, then it was air ball. Then got the rebound. All in just one second? Hmmm. Maybe they should try that in sports science,” Teng posted on his twitter account.
The winner-take-all match is set on December 7 at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.