MANILA -- Adamson's Mathew Montebon and University of Santo Tomas' Nikki Villasin shone to boost their respective team's Final Four campaigns at the end the UAAP Season 86 basketball elimination round.
Montebon nailed a stepback triple in the dying seconds of Adamson's 63-61 victory against University of the East on Sunday to forge a knockout match versus Ateneo for the last Final Four berth in the men's tournament.
Meanwhile, Villasin's career-high 20 points helped the Growling Tigresses' dominate Ateneo, 80-68, and cap off UST's elimination assignments by riding a four-game winning run armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against No. 3 University of the Philippines in the Final Four.
Adamson finished at 7-7 for a tie with Ateneo as UST placed second with an 11-3 record in the men's and women's play, respectively.
With both cagers playing a vital role for their squads, the Collegiate Press Corps hailed Montebon and Villasin as the UAAP Men's and Women's Players of the Week for the period of Nov. 15 to 19.
The Soaring Falcons guard also dropped 16 points including four three-pointers, seven rebounds and two assists to save Adamson from elimination against the also-ran but hard-fighting UE on Sunday.
Adamson had Montebon finishing with 12 points including two treys, six rebounds, five assists and a steal in the Falcons' much-needed 68-62 victory over the National University Bulldogs last Wednesday.
Averaging 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, three treys, and 0.5 steals, Montebon edged out UP's Francis Lopez and two-time Player of the Week Kevin Quiambao of La Salle.
"I think from the very beginning that's what we emphasized to our players: There are no freebies in this world. You have to earn everything. You have to take it if you want it," Adamson coach Nash Racela said after their win against the Red Warriors.
"Today, we thank UE for allowing us to [work for the win]. Talagang pinahirapan kami. They didn't give it to us on a silver platter."
Meanwhile, Villasin led UST to crucial victories over the Blue Eagles and Lady Tamaraws with an average of 17.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.0 steals.
The UST guard bested La Salle's Lee Sario and Bernice Paraiso and NU's Camille Clarin for the weekly honors presented by San Miguel Corporation and backed by minor sponsors Discovery Suites and Jockey.
"It was a good experience. It's mostly just practice translating [on the court]," Villasin said on the heels of UST's win against Ateneo. "Honestly, we just work hard and do the same things we do every day in practice. We just stick to our system and what our coach wants and we just get the shots that we want."
"We're patient and every shot comes from a teammate. My teammates were just looking for me, especially Eka [Soriano] who is facilitating really well," she added as the Growling Tigresses, equipped with a twice-to-beat advantage, brace for its semifinal matchup against UP.