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Ateneo stays perfect with cardiac win over La Salle

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Still perfect.

Ateneo de Manila University leaned on a pair of clutch free throws from Matt Nieto in the end game to hack out a heart-stopping 76-75 victory over archrival De La Salle University, and stay unbeaten in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament.

Isaac Go attempts a shot against La Salle. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
In front of 14,717 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, the Blue Eagles improved their record to a still perfect 7-0 to stay on top of the league standings at the end of the first round. Meanwhile, the defending champions Green Archers suffered their second loss of the elimination round to drop to 5-2.

"It was the Ateneo-La Salle game that a lot of people expected," said Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga after their victory. "Both teams played hard, and there were times that La Salle looked like they wanted it more."

"It became a grind in the fourth quarter, and it was possession by possession. I'm happy that we came up with the win. It was a very tough game," he added.

Nieto was the hero of the ball game, coming up with huge plays on both ends of the floor in crunch time. It was Nieto who came up with the interception of Kib Montalbo's inbound pass meant for Andrei Caracut, forcing the La Salle captain to foul him.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
Full Article: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/10/08/17/uaap-ateneo-stays-perfect-with-cardiac-win-over-la-salle

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