Blue Eagle Matt Nieto was left bloodied after Green Archer Ben Mbala delivered a strong accidental blow above his left eye.
In this video from ABS-CBN Sports, Nieto can be seen on the floor, wincing in pain, blood flowing freely on his forehead.
The accident happened in the last 36 seconds of the second quarter of Game 1 of the UAAP Season 80 finals.
Mbala was surrounded by three defenders from Ateneo, including Nieto. Trying to create space for him to score, Mbala made a quick turn to his left. Unfortunately, Nieto caught the blow of Mbala's right elbow.
Nieto got a huge cut, a bloody face, and a blocking foul for the play.
"Siguro, he's just too tall so sakto 'yung elbow niya sa face ko," said Nieto when asked about the incident after the game.
Mbala, meanwhile, said the blow wasn't intentional.
"It's part of basketball. I had the ball. I spun, he was late on the rotation or the double, that's why he got hit. I didn't intend to hit him or hurt him," said Mbala.
Nieto proved he's a tough soldier for the Blue Eagle squad. He went back on the court and ended the game with a total of 11 points and three assists to contribute to Ateneo's 76-70 win in Game 1.
"I don't want to let the team down, ayoko mawala sa laro so gusto ko agad bumalik the moment that happened, but they had to stop the blood. Worth it naman lahat 'cause we got the win," said Nieto.