MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) -- The De La Salle Green Archers snapped a three-game losing streak after escaping with a win over the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 56-52, in the UAAP Season 75 men's basketball tournament Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
In a game that featured 11 lead changes, the Archers proved to be the steadier team down the stretch as the Falcons, playing without injured star Alex Nuyles, went scoreless in the final 2:37 of the contest.
Rookie Jeron Teng had a double-double performance with 15 points and 10 boards, his last point coming on a free throw that essentially clinched the contest. Norbert Torres added 12 points for the Archers.
"We're happy to get over the hump," said Torres, adding that they were playing much better than their record showed.
But the Falcons the Archers work for their victory. Trailing 40-43 going into the final quarter, Adamson tied the contest via a Jericho Cruz three-pointer with 8:12 to go in the fourth.
The two squads exchanged leads from that point, with La Salle taking a 49-46 off a Norbert Torres hook with a little less than six minutes to go.
Adamson then scored six straight points, the last four being scored by Roider Cabrera, to take a 52-49 lead with 2:37 remaining.
But Cabrera’s lay-up proved to be the Falcons’ last field goal of the game. La Salle’s Yutien Andrada trimmed the deficit with a lay-up with 2:18 to go, then Teng pushed the Archers ahead for good with a fastbreak lay-up with 1:12 remaining.
The Falcons had their chances, but Cabrera missed a three-pointer with around 49 seconds to go, and Andrada gave the Archers some breathing room with another lay-up with less than 20 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Cruz turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, leading to Teng’s game-clinching free throw.
It was La Salle’s first victory over Adamson since July 26, 2009, when they defeated the Falcons 64-63.
They also had to overcome the absence of starting point guard LA Revilla, who aggravated a left ankle sprain during the game and did not play for the entire second half.
The Falcons, playing without Nuyles for the first time, shot horribly in the first half but kept the game close thanks to strong free throw shooting, as well as La Salle’s own woes from the stripe.
Despite shooting an atrocious 28% from the field in the opening half, the Falcons actually led La Salle 32-30 thanks to their 14-of-19 shooting from the line, while La Salle shot 48% from the field yet made only three of 12 free throws and turned the ball over 10 times.
The second quarter also saw a scuffle between La Salle’s Jed Manguera and Cruz, as Cruz pushed Manguera to the court. Replays showed the Adamson player also kicked Manguera while down.
Both players were assessed technical fouls.
"Nagkapikunan lang. But I believe all is well," said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla of the scuffle.
La Salle cleaned up their act in the third quarter and tightened their defense, holding the Falcons without a field goal for almost nine minutes in the period.
But they had to endure a see-sawing fourth quarter as the Falcons refused to let the Archers break the game open.
Monteclaro had his best game of the season with 12 points, while Cabrera and Brondial each scored eight points.
DLSU 56 – Teng 15, N. Torres 12, Tallo 7, Andrada 6, Mendoza 5, Webb 4, T. Torres 3, Manguera 3, Vosotros 1
ADU 52 – Monteclaro 12, Cabrera 8, Brondial 8, Rios 7, Cruz 7, Camson 5, Julkipli 2, Abrigo 2, Olalia 1
Quarter scoring: 18-13; 30-32; 43-40; 56-52