|Chris Javier sinks the game winner for UE seven seconds before regulation
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The University of the East (UE) Red Warriors pulled off a 79-77 shocker against defending champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in UAAP men's basketball on Thursday.
Gene Belleza scored a career best 28 points and five rebounds in helping the Warriors hand the Eagles only their second loss in Season 75.
But the biggest hero was Chris Javier who sank the game winner for UE seven seconds before regulation.
Javier was the same hero who scored the buzzer-beating trey that lifted the Warriors to a pulsating 79-76 win over the University of the Philippines (UP) Maroons last Sunday.
It was a bitter loss for the Eagles, who struggled for most part of the game, only to suffer their second defeat.
“We have nothing to lose eh. We just have to execute the game, we just have to execute what coach said to us... we're happy, but we're not yet satisfied. We have a lot of things to learn and lot of things to improve,” Belleza said after their win.
It was a neck and neck game between the two squads in the first three quarters until UE broke free late in the fourth.
Pouncing on an Ateneo turnover Rey Sumido tied the ball game 75-all with just 1:04 minutes to go.
The Eagles quickly scrambled to recover but Kiefer Ravena and Juami Tiongson flubbed their attempts from the arc.
UE recovered the ball and this led to a bucket by Adrian Santos, who gave Warriors a 77-75 lead 20 seconds left.
But the Eagles refused to go away as Ravena came off with a huge put-back that tied the score to 77-all, 7.2 ticks remaining.
UE coach Boysie Zamar quickly sued for a time out and drew a play for Roy Sumang and Chris Javier.
The ensuing play saw Sumang playing decoy before dishing out an assist to Javier. The UE bigman then fired the winning jumper just 0.4 second left.
Belleza said their latest conquest seemed to have erased all their losses in the first round.
“Parang ang tingin sa aming lahat ng UE ngayon ay champion… parang nabura lahat ng talo namin nung first round,” said the prolific UE guard.
The Warriors improved their record to 3-9, while Ateneo now has a 9-2 card.