LA Salle hit clutch baskets to nail its third straight victory, beating Adamson, 80-74, on Saturday in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Andrei Caracut scored his only points of the game after hitting a triple with 1:38 left in the fourth that gave the Green Archers a 74-72 lead.
Santi Santillan drove past Tyrus Hill with 36.3 seconds to play for a four-point La Salle lead.
La Salle, which trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, improved its win-loss record to 8-2 and tightened its grip on second place behind unbeaten Ateneo.
The Archers are two games ahead of Adamson, which holds a 6-4 card.
Despite losing a double-digit lead, Adamson came back behind Papi Sarr and Jonathan Espeleta, who nailed two free throws off an unsportsmanlike foul by Kib Montalbo on Hill to give the Falcons a 72-71 lead.
But it was the last time the Falcons held the lead.
Ricci Rivero finished with 17 points including a slam during the late fourth-quarter run by the Green Archers.
Santillan added 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Ben Mbala also had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. La Salle finished strong in the second quarter as the Green Archers sent the game into a deadlock, 35-35, at the half.
A 10-2 run stretched La Salle's lead to six points, 56-50, in the third.
Jerrick Ahanmisi added 17 points, making 3 of 8 shots from the 3-point line, while Papi Sarr contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Falcons, who lost for the second time in three games.
La Salle 80 - Ri. Rivero 17, Santillan 16, Mbala 15, Montalbo 10, P. Rivero 7, Melecio 5, Tratter 5, Caracut 3, Baltazar 2, Go 0.
Adamson 74 - Ahanmisi 17, Sarr 17, Espeleta 12, Manalang 11, Hill 8, Lojera 3, Manganti 2, Ochea 2, Bernardo 2, Pingoy 0, Zaldivar 0, Mustre 0, Chua 0, Frias 0.
Quarterscores: 13-17; 35-35; 58-54; 80-74.