MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) The University of the Philippines (UP) pulled off another come-from-behind win, this time against Adamson University on Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Fighting Maroons erased a 16-point halftime deficit to stun the Soaring Falcons in overtime, 87-78, for their second consecutive victory in the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament.
Adamson's Joem Sabandal hit three pressure-packed free throws with one-tenths of a second left in regulation to tie the game at 74 and send it to overtime, but the Falcons were held in check in the extra session.
Big three-pointers by James Spencer and Terrence Fortea gave UP an 80-74 spread with 3:32 left in OT. Adamson had no answer on either end, as they scored just four points in the extra period.
Zavier Lucero led the way for UP with 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Malick Diouf came up with big plays in overtime and finished with 13 points, 12 boards, four blocks, and three steals. Terrence Fortea added 12 points.
"We started off flat, same sa last game. Even defense namin was not really that tight," UP coach Goldwin Monteverde said after the game. "In the second half, we picked up on defense. We had better ball movement in the second half."
Adamson led by 16 points at the break after a dominant second quarter that saw them out-score UP, 30-12. But the defending champions roared back in the third, putting together a 21-2 run that gave them a 52-49 lead after two free throws by Diouf.
The Falcons responded with a 9-0 run to bridge the third and fourth quarters, giving them a 65-58 cushion early in the final period. But a layup by Diouf sparked an 11-3 response from the Fighting Maroons. A putback by Lucero capped the run that made it 69-68 for UP.
It was back-and-forth from there, and UP took a 74-71 lead with a split at the line by Diouf with 1:10 to play. The Fighting Maroons appeared to have sealed the deal with a defensive stop in the closing seconds, but James Spencer was called for a foul on Sabandal with just 0.1 left on the clock.
After a lengthy review, Sabandal was awarded three free throws, which the Adamson veteran calmly sank to send the game to an extension. Unfortunately for the Soaring Falcons, their offense sputtered in OT, and they gave up two early triples to Spencer and Fortea that took the wind out of their sails.
Jerom Lastimosa had another fine game, with 25 points, six rebounds, and six assists. But he was also stopped by Diouf on a three-point attempt that could have made it a one-possession game in overtime, while also committing five turnovers.
Lenda Douanga had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Falcons. Sabandal finished with 10 points; he missed his first two free throws before making his last three.
The Falcons are now 0-2 in Season 85.
UP 87 -- Lucero 15, Diouf 13, Fortea 12, Tamayo 11, Alarcon 9, Gonzales 9, Spencer 8, Galinato 3, Ramos 3, Torculas 2, Calimag 2, Abadiano 0.
ADAMSON 78 -- Lastimosa 25, Douanga 11, V. Magbuhos 10, Sabandal 10, Hanapi 8, Yerro 4, Jaymalin 3, Manzano 2, Barasi 2, W. Magbuhos 2, Flowers 1, Colonia 0, Torres 0, Barcelona 0.
Quarters: 19-17, 31-47, 58-62, 74-74, 87-78.