LA Salle arranged a playoff for the No. 2 spot and the last twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP Final Four following a 68-56 win over National University on Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Almond Vostoros, Arnold Van Opstal, and Norbert Torres scored the bulk of the points for the Archers as they combined for a total of 42 markers to make up for the poor shooting night of star player Jeron Teng, who has held to only nine points.
Torres also scored all six in a pivotal La Salle run that allowed the reigning champions to take a 55-44 lead early in the fourth to finally break away from a tight contest that saw both teams tied at 31 at halftime.
The Archers, who finished the eliminations with a 10-4 slate, will now play Far Eastern University for the final twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals in a virtual best-of-three affair between two teams which also faced each other at this point of the season a year ago.
“We tried to get the ball inside to Arnold and Norbert. That created open shots for Almond and the other guys,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler.
Meanwhile, NU finished the eliminations with a 9-5 slate for fourth place, but will have to face University of the East in a playoff for the last semis berth if the Red Warriors beat University of Santo Tomas on Tuesday also at the Big Dome.
Vosotros had 15 points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. His three-pointer gave La Salle a 58-46 lead before Julian Sargent clinched the win with a layup, 66-48, with nearly two minutes left in the game.
Van Opstal had 14 points while Torres added 13 for La Salle.
La Salle shot 51 percent from the field while making five triples in the game.
DLSU (68) -- Vosotros 15, Van Opstal 14, N. Torres 13, Teng 9, Perkins 8, Montalbo 5, Sargent 4, Rivero 0, Bolick 0, Mustre 0, Tratter 0.
NU (56) -- Alolino 18, Rosario 14, Javelona 8, Aroga 8, Khobuntin 4, Betayene 4, Diputado 0, Celda 0, Neypes 0, Perez 0.
Quarterscores: 20-17; 31-31; 49-43; 68-56.