La Salle banked on the endgame heroics of rookie Jeron Teng and Yutien Andrada as they came back late to defeat the struggling Adamson Falcons, 56-52, in Season 75 action of the UAAP at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The two La Salle forwards combined to score the last seven points of the game as the Green Archers turned a three-point deficit into a comfortable four-point lead with seconds to play. Teng finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Andrada scored all six of his points in the fourth as La Salle snapped a three-game losing skid.
Adamson stormed to a 32-30 halftime lead behind point guard Ryan Monteclaro, who scored nine of his team-high 12 points in the first two periods. But La Salle banked on some solid defending as they held Adamson down to an eight-point output in the third quarter to take a 43-40 lead entering the final period.
The Green Archers led 47-43 with seven minutes to play. But the Falcons went on a 9-2 run to take a three-point advantage with 2:36 remaining. Andrada and Teng then scored back-to-back baskets to retake the lead with 1:12 to play.
A crucial out-of-bounds play with about half a minute remaining forced the referees to call a jumpball as they failed to determine who touched the ball last, even on the review of the replays. La Salle took the tip, and took advantage of a scrambled Adamson defense as Andrada pushed their lead up to three with a short stab, 18.7 seconds remaining.
The Falcons turned the ball over on an inbound pass and Teng got a split from the line with 8.3 seconds left to seal the final margin.
“Not really the game that we visualized but I’ll take the win anytime,” said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla. “At least nanalo pa rin kami.”
La Salle again struggled with their free throws, shooting 6-for-18 (33.3%) for the game. Teng was 0-for-4 when he stepped up to the line for his last two attempts, but came up big with a split when it mattered.
“I think it’s a mental thing,” said Abanilla. “We make our free throws in practice. A lot of people have been harping about it and it gets into the mind of the boys. That’s something we have to work on individually.”
Center Norbert Torres added 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Green Archers moved up to 3-3 for the season.
“Our record was 2-3 coming into this game and we knew that we were playing a lot better than that record,” said Torres. “We were just waiting to finally get over that hump and we finally did it today.”
La Salle did get some bad news as guard LA Revilla was limited to just 10 minutes after suffering a sprain on his left ankle.
The Falcons dropped their fourth game in five outings.
La Salle (56) – Teng 15, N. Torres 12, Tallo 7, Andrada 6, Mendoza 5, Webb 4, T. Torres 3, Manguera 3, Vosotros 1, Van Opstal 0, Revilla 0.
Adamson (52) – Monteclaro 12, Cabrera 8, Brondial 8, Rios 7, Cruz 7, Camson 5, Julkipli 2, Abrigo 2, Olalia 1, Trollano 0, Petilos 0, Etrone 0, Cabigas 0, Agustin 0.
Quarterscores: 18-13, 30-32, 43-40, 56-52.