DE La Salle finally overcame its waterloo on Wednesday as the Green Archers survived a huge endgame meltdown by making their shots from the stripe to edge out a fighting Adamson Falcons side, 70-67, in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jeron Teng, who has been struggling from the foul line this season, buried two crucial charities in the dying moments to give the Archers the breathing room in a game that saw them lose grip of a 15-point lead in the payoff period.
Teng’s two free throws broke a tight 65-all contest in the final 41.9 seconds.
Any chance of a Falcons’ comeback practically went down the drain when Gian Abrigo was called for a questionable unsportsmanlike foul away from the ball while he jockeyed for position with Norbert Torres on an inbounds play with 15.9 seconds to play and the Archers protecting a 67-65 lead.
Torres calmly sank the two ensuing free throws to seal the win for the Taft-based school.
La Salle improved to an even 3-3 (win-loss) record for a four-way tie for third place along with its victim, National University, and University of the East.
The Archers likewise broke a two-game skid that saw them lose games against Far Eastern University and University of the East, both times after holding huge leads in the fourth quarter.
Notorious for their poor free throw shooting, the Green Archers shot 18-of-22 from the foul line this time, including their last four courtesy of Teng and Torres.
The Green Archers won despite failing to protect a huge 65-50 advantage with five minutes left in the match.
“We are not satisfied with how we finished the game,” admitted La Salle coach Juno Sauler. “We have to work on that.”
Norbert Torres led five players in double figures for the Archers with 13 points, while Jason Perkins also had 13 and 13 rebounds.
Teng added 12 points, eight rebounds, and five assists while going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Almond Vosotros and Arnold Van Opstal each had 11 and 10 points, respectively, for La Salle.
Van Opstal hit La Salle’s final field goal at the 5:30 mark of the fourth for that 15-point cushion.
But the Archers suddenly went scoreless as the Falcons racked 15 unanswered points capped by two Abrigo free throws that tied the game at 65.
Teng however, broke the silence for La Salle with those two free throws, before Abrigo lost his footing at the baseline to give possession back to La Salle.
La Salle (70) - N. Torres 13, Perkins 13, Teng 12, Vosotros 11, Van Opstal 10, Revilla 6, T. Torres 3, De La Paz 2, Tampus 0, Salem 0, Bolick 0.
Adamson (67) - Trollano 14, Cruz 13, Abrigo 10, Cabrera 9, Inigo 7, Brondial 6, Sewa 5, Agustin 2, Julkilpi 1, Rios 0, Petilos 0, Monteclaro 0.
Quarterscores: 18-7; 35-22; 55-42; 70-67.