MANILA, Philippines – Adamson University survived the high-wire three-point sniping of an unrelenting University of Santo Tomas (UST) down the stretch to eke out a tough 75-71 win on Sunday in the 73rd UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the PhilSports Arena.
Veteran point guard Lester Alvarez typified the Falcons’ endgame composure in a break-neck second-half duel with the Tigers, who held a 63-60 lead with less than 5 minutes in the pay-off period.
The 3rd year Adamson sentinel nailed 5 straight points anchored on a triple and a squeeze-in lay-up in the crucial 1:34 mark of the fourth to wrest the upper hand for the Falcons, 67-65, before finalizing the count from the stripe.
“We showed maturity in the endgame. This victory served as a fitting reminder for us to never underestimate any team in the league because everyone is capable of winning,” Adamson coach Leo Austria said. “UST is a dangerous team especially when it makes its perimeter shots which is its main weapon.”
Austria saw it all on the floor.
Down 44-52 mid-way into the third, the Tigers went on a 9-0 tear with triples from Jeric Fortuna, Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista to lead by one, 53-52, going into the last quarter.
The Falcons quickly erased the deficit with 4 straight points from Kenyan import Austin Manyara, including a breakaway dunk at the 6:52 mark of the fourth, to take a precarious 60-58 edge.
UST, however, logged in 5 unanswered points to regain the advantage before Alvarez went on a five-point binge and Janus Lozada completed a fastbreak lay-up off a steal from Teng.
But when everyone thought Adamson was safely perched on top, Teng knocked in a go-ahead triple with 10.4 ticks left to threaten at 68-71. UST then sent Alvarez to the line with 9.2 seconds left before Bautista fired another triple which capped the Tigers record-tying efforts from three-point land where they drilled in a total of 16 treys for a 55.2% clip.
Incidentally, the Tigers matched the same three-point output they registered against UP last Thursday, not to mention tying the Falcons’ record for most three-point shots made in a single game which Adamson achieved in its Sept. 7, 2008 win over National University.
Teng paced the Tigers with 23 points while Fortuna added 15 on 5-of-7 shooting behind the arc. Chris Camus and Bautista chipped in 11 markers apiece.
Alvarez got able backing from Lozada, who finished with 10 points while Alex Nuyles added 9.
Surprisingly, the Tigers outrebounded the taller Falcons, 37-29, and had more assists, 21-11.
ADU 75 – Alvarez 22, Lozada 10, Nuyles 9, Manyara 8, Camson 8, Colina 7, Canada 6, Cabrera 3, Stinnett 2, Etrone 0, Galinato 0, Basilio.
UST 71 – Teng 23, Fortuna 15, Camus 11, Bautista 11, Mariano 5, Pe 2, Daquiog 2, Afuang 2, Wong 0, Tinte 0, Mamaril 0, Lo 0.
Quarter scores: 19-13, 34-32, 52-53, 75-71.
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