This time, free throws lift La SalleBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE FREE throws that doomed La Salle in recent meltdowns saved the Green Archers this time.
Jeron Teng and Norbert Torres canned five of six free throws inside the last 41 seconds as the Green Archers survived Adamson’s furious rally, 70-67, in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I’m still not satisfied with how we finished the game,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler after the Archers blew a 15-point advantage, 65-50, in the last five minutes.
“We have to learn how to play for four quarters. We played good for three quarters, but in the end, we turned the ball over, gave second-chance opportunities to our opponents.”
The Green Archers spoiled the Falcons’ bid to stay in the top two with Santo Tomas grabbing solo second with a 4-2 record.
The Tigers, with Aljon Mariano and Clark Bautista taking over in the final quarter, held off the University of the Philippines Maroons, 79-69, in the first game.
The Archers and the Falcons wound up with similar 3-3 records like idle University of the East and National University.
Teng, who has been shooting miserably from the foul line, nailed two clutch free throws that gave the Archers the lead, 67-65, with 41.9 seconds left after the Falcons staged a 15-0 outburst that tied the game at 65.
“I’ve been really focused on improving my free throws,” said Teng.
Torres shot a couple more free throws with 15.9 ticks left off an unsportsmanlike foul slapped on Adamson’s Lloyd Abrigo.
“It wasn’t a foul, both players were jockeying for position,” a livid Adamson coach Leo Austria said of the controversial call that awarded the Archers two free throws plus possession in the dying seconds.
Torres finished with 13 points and Jason Perkins had 13 points and 13 boards for the Archers, who recovered from heartbreakers versus Far Eastern U and University of the East.
UST 79–Mariano 18, Ferrer 16, Abdul 14, Bautista 12, Lo 9, So 4, Daquioag 4, Pe 2, Tan 0, Macasaet 0, Lao 0, Hainga 0, Faundo 0.
UP 69–Marata 16, Lao 9, Wong 7, Pascual 7, Ball 7, Ligad 6, Ginerich 5, Suarez 4, Harris 4, Asilum 4, Gallarza 0.
Quarters: 21-15, 35-31, 56-48, 79-69
LA SALLE 70—N. Torres 13, Perkins 13, Teng 12, Vosotros 11, Van Opstal 10. Revilla 6, T. Torres 3, Dela Paz 2, Tampus 0, Salem 0, Bolick 0.
ADAMSON 67—Trollano 14, Cruz 13 Abrigo 10, Cabrera 9, Iñigo 7, Brondial 6, Sewa 5, Agustin 2, Julkipli 1, Rios 0, Petilos 0, Monteclaro 0.
Quarters: 18-7, 35-22, 55-42, 70-67