La Salle squanders lead but escapes Adamson

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Jeron Teng of De La Salle Green Archers. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—La Salle averted disaster and salvaged a 70-67 victory over Adamson Wednesday in the UAAP season 76 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers lost a 15-point lead in the last 5:28 of the game, but leaned on freethrows from Jeron Teng and Norbert Torres down the stretch to give them their third win with as many losses.

The Falcons went on a 15-to-nothing run to tie the game at 65, but Teng knocked down two crucial freethrows to give La Salle the lead back with 41.9 seconds left.

Adamson had a chance to tie the game back but Lloyd Abrigo was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Norbert Torres while the two were jockeying for position with 15.9 seconds left, giving La Salle two freethrows plus possession.

Torres, then, made good on all but one of his next four attempts from the stripe which kept the Falcons at bay for good.

Torres finished with 13 points alongside Jason Perkins, who also plucked 13 boards, while Teng, who went 4-of-4 from the FT line, added 12 points.

“I’m not satisfied with how we finished the game. We should work on that,” said head coach Juno Sauler in the post-game interview.

The Green Archers jumped the gun early, leading by 16 with 6:46 in the second quarter and as many as 18, 40-22, two minutes into the third.

La Salle, though, went back to its bad habits, reminiscent of its OT loss to Far Eastern University, 79-83, and allowed Adamson to close in in the final stretch—but this time, its freethrow shooting in clutch worked.

La Salle, along with Adamson, National University and University of the East are all tied with a 3-3 card, behind University of Santo Tomas (4-2).

Don Trollano paced the Falcons with 14 points and 11 boards, Jericho Cruz chipped in 13 markers and Gian Abrigo poured all of his 10 points in the fourth.

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