With La Salle closing in a number of times, Adamson kept its lead with some unbelievable shots to regain its winning edge.
The Falcons fended rallies by the Green Archers to score a 66-58 win and tie Far Eastern University for second place in the 74th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Lester Alvarez, Janus Lozada, Alex Nuyles and Eric Camson all hit tough shots in the latter stretches of the fourth quarter as Adamson’s win-loss record improved to 4-2 heading into its final game of the first round.
Alvarez shot 5-of-10 from three-point range to finish with 18 points, Lozada had 14 points while Nuyles and Camson added 12 and 11 points apiece for the San Marcelino-based squad.
The loss saw the end of a three-game winning run for La Salle, whose record fell to 3-3.
“I guess this is my luckiest day,” said coach Leo Austria. “We were lucky because in spite of our struggles offensively. Maybe it was also because of our defense that gave us the victory.”
Adamson led 19-4 in the first quarter and 35-23 at the half, but La Salle started several rallies that included eight third quarter points from lanky center Yutien Andrada.
The Archers pulled within 49-47 on a score by LA Revilla with 9:49 in the fourth but the Falcons kept the lead with Nuyles sinking a long fadeaway jumper, Alvarez hitting a tough three against a defender and Camson hitting a putback for a 59-53 lead with 4:24 left.
La Salle threatened anew at 61-58 but Lozada uncorked a long three with 1:20 remaining and Adamson pulled away for a 64-58 lead.
The Archers tried to cut the deficit anew but Jarelan Tampus slipped and was called for a traveling, while Sam Marata and LA Revilla both missed easy layups in consecutive possessions.
Norbert Torres had 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks and Andrada tallied 11 points and nine rebounds for La Salle.
Revilla, the league’s second leading scorer at about 15 points per game, was held to four points.
Adamson defeated La Salle for the fourth straight time.
Nuyles had nine rebounds but shot 3-of-13 from the field while Camson had 10 rebounds with five coming off the offensive glass.
ADAMSON 66 – Alvarez 18, Lozada 14, Nuyles 12, Camson 11, Etrone 4, Manyara 3, Brondial 2, Canada 2, Colina 0, Cabrera 0.
LA SALLE 58 – Torres 14, Andrada 11, Marata 9, Vosotros 6, Tampus 4, de la Paz 4, Villanueva 4, Revilla 2, Paredes 2, Atkins 2, Van Opstal 0, Webb 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarters: 21-13; 35-23; 49-45; 66-58.