La Salle's Jason Perkins goes to the basket against Adamson. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED, CORRECTED) The De La Salle Green Archers held off an inspired challenge by the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 66-57, Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum to earn a share of second place in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament.
The defending champions got off to a great start and led by as much as 18 points in the second quarter, but Adamson, behind a career-best performance from Don Trollano, showed great heart in fighting back and kept in step with La Salle in the second half.
The Green Archers had too much firepower, however, and were able to build a comfortable lead at the end of the third quarter that they maintained all throughout the last period.
"We didn't shoot very well from the floor," said La Salle coach Juno Sauler after the game, noting that they made only one of 17 three-point attempts.
"(There was also a) lack of energy also on the boards, and Adamson played very aggressively today. They were hustling for every loose ball, and even in transition we were quite slow," he added.
"We gave up too many points in transition and Adamson took advantage of that."
La Salle shot only 33.85% from the field including less than 6% from beyond the arc. The Green Archers did help their cause by making 21 of their 33 free throw attempts.
With their victory, the Green Archers rebounded from last week's loss to Far Eastern University and hiked their record to 8-3, joining rivals Ateneo in second place in the league standings.
Adamson, meanwhile, remained winless this season with an 0-11 record.
The Falcons were able to cut the lead to as low as three points, 34-37, early in the third period, and were within striking distance up until the final minute of the quarter. Jason Perkins, however, scored five straight points in the last minute, giving La Salle a 55-43 lead heading into the final quarter.
Trollano, who scored a career-high 26 points to go along with 11 rebounds, tried to spark a last Adamson rally in the final period, but they never came closer than eight points, 51-59, when he scored on a fingerroll.
Three players scored in double-digits for La Salle, led by Perkins with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Jeron Teng had a solid all-around game with 15 points, eight boards, and six assists, while Almond Vosotros added 12 markers but made only four of 13 field goal attempts.
La Salle appeared headed for a comfortable victory after they built a 23-8 advantage in the first quarter, with Norbert Torres, Arnold Van Opstal, Teng and Vosotros all scoring easy baskets inside the paint. The Green Archers made nine of their 17 field goals in the opening frame, while holding the Falcons to only three-of-20 shooting.
The lead ballooned to 18 points, 26-18, after back up guard Julian Sargent hit a baseline floater early in the second period.
The Green Archers' offense sputtered from that point on, however, as they would make only two more field goals in the rest of the quarter. In contrast, Adamson was finally able to convert their attempts after repeatedly muffing easy baskets in the first period.
A steal and a lay-up by Don Trollano sparked a 19-5 exchange that allowed the Falcons to claw their way back in the game, 27-31. They also tightened up their defense, forcing La Salle to miss nine of their last 10 field goals in the second half.
Rios was the only other player in double-digits for Adamson, with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Falcons made only 31% of their field goals and shot only 10 free throws as a team - one less than Teng attempted.
La Salle defeated Adamson in their first round encounter, 67-48.
DLSU 68 - Perkins 16, Teng 15, Vosotros 12, Van Opstal 7, Torres 6, Montalbo 4, Sargent 3, Bolick 3, Rivero 0.
ADU 57 - Trollano 26, Rios 11, Ochea 6, Nalos 5, Monteclaro 4, Aquino 3, Barrera 2, Villanueva 0, Baytan 0, Polican 0, Inigo 0, Garcia 0.
Quarter-scoring: 23-8, 33-27, 55-43, 66-57.