Matt Nieto was the hero as Ateneo-Philippines outlasted Chinese-Taipei Blue, 77-76, in the 40th William Jones Cup on Saturday at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in Taiwan.
Nieto unloaded a go-ahead triple off an inbound play with 0.7 seconds left that silenced the partisan crowd and sent the Filipinos into a frenzy as they nabbed their fourth straight victory in the tournament.
Riding the crest of a one-sided win over Lithuania, Ateneo-Philippines improved to a 5-2 record while the home team absorbed its third defeat in seven games.
Nieto was the leading scorer for the only collegiate team in the tournament with 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. William Navarro had 11 points.
Angelo Kouame and Tyler Tio added eight points apiece, while Thirdy Ravena chipped in seven points, five rebounds and four assists.
Ravena's last assist was a tip to a streaking Gian Mamuyac, who scored on a breakaway layup to tie the match at 74-all with 22.22 seconds remaining.
Ying-Chun Cheng put the home team ahead anew with two free throws after Ravena fouled him on the drive.
Ateneo sued for time with 3.8 seconds left. Head coach Tab Baldwin drew a play carefully designed for Nieto, who ran from the opposite corner to the right wing off an Isaac Go screen before receiving the inbound pass from Ravena.
Nieto has proven time and again he can hit the biggest shots, and he didn't disappoint in delivering the game-winning 3 on Saturday.
Cheng Liu paced Chinese Taipei Blue with 24 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals and three blocks. But he hardly had an impact in the final plays.
Ying-Chun Cheng added 17 points.
Philippines 77 - Nieto Ma. 13, Navarro 11, Tio 8, Kouame 8, Ravena 7, Mamuyac 7, Wong 6, Verano 6, Nieto Mi. 4, Go 4, Maagdenberg 3, Mendoza 0.
Chinese-Taipei 76 - Liu 24, Chen Y 17, Chou Y 12, Hu 9, Chou P 6, Chen G 6, Douglas 2, Peng 0, Chang 0, Lin 0, Zhen 0.
Quarterscores: 18-18, 36-35, 57-56, 77-76.