MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Adamson University averted another heartbreak, outlasting Far Eastern University (FEU), 64-63, on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It was only the second win of UAAP Season 84 for the Soaring Falcons, who endured several close losses in the first round -- including a heartbreaking 66-65 defeat to FEU -- but opened the second round with a crucial victory.
Adamson snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 2-6 in the season, while sending the Tamaraws to a second consecutive loss. FEU is now 3-5 in the tournament.
Rookie Matty Erolon nailed the biggest shot of the game, drilling a three-pointer with three seconds left, off a kickout by star point guard Jerom Lastimosa, who drew three FEU defenders when he drove to the paint.
That left Erolon wide open for the go-ahead triple -- only his second field goal of the contest. The rookie had five points in just 12 seconds of playing time.
"He's learning how to play and share the ball with his teammates," Adamson coach Nash Racela said of Lastimosa. "Si Matt is really capable of making that shot, kaya namin siya nilagay doon, to be able to have a good look."
Lastimosa finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists in 33 minutes, while Cedrick Manzano had 14 points and four rebounds, stepping up in place of injured center Lenda Dounga.
Manzano secured the win for the Soaring Falcons when he deflected an inbound pass meant for FEU center Emmanuel Ojuola in the dying seconds, as Adamson avoided another painful defeat at the hands of the Tamaraws.
The Soaring Falcons led by as much as 14 points in the first quarter but were out-scored, 38-29, in the middle two frames, setting up another thrilling finish. The Tams snatched the lead, 62-61, with 45.3 seconds to go off a transition basket by LJay Gonzales. Off an Adamson miss, Gonzales drew a foul but converted just one of two charities with 18 seconds to go for a 63-61 count.
That gave the Falcons enough time to set up the winning play.
Gonzales finished with 20 points, five boards and four assists, while Abarrientos tallied 15 points, four rebounds, and four dimes. Ojuola had 13 points and 17 boards, but made just 5-of-14 field goals as the Adamson bigs kept him in check for most of the contest.
ADAMSON 64 -- Lastimosa 17, Manzano 14, Peromingan 9, Zaldivar 6, Sabandal 5, Erolon 5, Yerro 2, Barasi 2, Hanapi 2, Colonia 2, Magbuhos 0, Maata 0.
FEU 63 -- Gonzales 20, Abarrientos 15, Ojuola 13, Torres 8, Tempra 5, Bienes 2, Alforque 0, Sleat 0, Sajonia 0, Celzo 0, Sandagon 0.
Quarters: 21-12, 38-34, 50-50, 64-63.