MANILA, Philippines -- Rookie Matty Erolon maximized every second of his playing time for Adamson University on Tuesday.
Erolon was on the court for just 12 seconds but finished with five points -- including the game-winning three-pointer against Far Eastern University (FEU). He drilled the go-ahead shot with three seconds to go off a pass from veteran point guard Jerom Lastimosa, as the Falcons seized a 64-63 triumph.
"'Di po ako pinawisan sa laro," Erolon said afterward. "Pero grabe 'yung tiwala po niya [Coach Nash Racela] sa akin."
Erolon made two of the three shots he took in the ball game. Entering Tuesday's contest, he was averaging just four minutes per game and was 1-of-6 from long distance for Season 84.
He gave full credit to Lastimosa for his game-winning basket.
"'Di ko naman magagawa 'yun kung 'di dahil kay Jerom," Erolon said. "Umatake po siya, nag-penetrate para makakuha ng depensa. Tapos para malibre din po ako."
Lastimosa drove to the teeth of the FEU defense, drawing virtually all Tamaraws to him before kicking out to the wide-open Erolon for the game-winner. The rookie showed no hesitation before letting the shot fly.
"Grabe po 'yung tiwala ni Coach Nash," Erolon also said. "Sa 10 seconds na po 'yun, parang ni-ready ko lang po 'yung sarili ko."
Racela, whose squad had dropped five straight games before Tuesday's breakthrough, said: "Ang sinasabi ni Matt, mas pinawisan pa daw ako kesa sa kanya."
But the coach said they had no qualms about sending Erolon in the game at such a crucial moment.
"Si Matt is really capable of making that shot. Talaga namin siya nilagay doon, to be able to have a good look. He actually scored five points in 10 seconds ata. Ten seconds lang siya naglaro, but he made two good plays. He gave us two good plays," said Racela.
Adamson's win against the Tamaraws is only their second of UAAP Season 84, giving them a 2-6 win-loss record. It also gave them a measure of redemption for last week's 66-65 heartbreaker against the same team, where they gave up a game-winning triple to RJ Abarrientos in the closing seconds.