LA Salle Greenhills and Adamson roll into the quarterfinal round of the 9th PCABL (Philippine Chinese Amateur Basketball League) FREEGO Cup with confidence-boosting wins on Wednesday at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy gym in Quezon City.
The Greenies survived University of Perpetual Help Dalta System Altalettes' fiery rally from an 18-point deficit early in the payoff period to eke out a thrilling 74-73 win and finished tied at second place with Arellano University and Chiang Kai Shek College in Group A with similar 5-3 cards.
Clutch baskets by Troy Mallilin saved La Salle from an embarrassing defeat following a dominant third quarter that saw the Greenies outscore their rivals 27-7 for a commanding 67-49 lead going into the final frame.
The Baby Falcons, on the other hand, leaned on the heroics of Forthsky Padrigao, Gerry Abadiano and Jason Celis to score a 92-84 win over Letran and finish second behind reigning UAAP champion National University in Goup B with a 7-1 mark.
The quarterfinal round starts Saturday with NU, which gained the top seeding due to its superior quotient over Adamson, battles Hope Christian High School at 9 a.m. while Group A topnotcher University of the Philippines collides with La Salle at 10:45 a.m.
The two other quarterfinal pairings pit Adamson against Lyceum while CKSC, which clobbered Far Eastern University, 84-60, in the other game, faces Arellano at 2:15 p.m. in the tournament also sponsored by Smart, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Hapee Toothpaste, Insular Square (Cebu), and New Pioneer Auto Supply (Cebu).
For topping their respective groups, UP and NU gained twice-to-beat privileges against their rivals.