MANILA, Philippines – La Salle, for the second time this season, was left with the last shot against University of Santo Tomas.
This time, though, the Green Archers made sure of a different ending as Jeron Teng’s runner found the mark at the buzzer for a 53-51 squeaker over the Growling Tigers Wednesday in the 75th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Rookie Teng avenged La Salle’s first round loss to UST in double overtime, 82-84 , and inched his squad to a just a game behind with a 6-3 record.
“We’re very lucky we survived this win,” said head coach Gee Abanilla whose squad played sans Yutien Andrada and LA Revilla.
“Good thing about the situation right now is we got a separation from NU (5-4), but a lot of things could happen,” added Abanilla.
Guard Almond Vosotros carried the offensive cudgels in Revilla’s absence as he scored 12 points, Thomas Torres added 10 while Teng chipped in nine points.
The Green Archers were trailing for most of the game, but seized a slim lead at the end of third and buckled for another thrilling finish.
UST scored four straight points in the final 40 ticks courtesy of center Karim Abdul, including a game-tying bucket off a feed from Jeric Fortuna with 3.3 seconds left.
But just like their meeting in the first round, the Tigers failed to contain the Archers in the final possession as the latter got another clean look at the basket.
Aljon Mariano, who’s been UST’s go-to-guy down the stretch, fouled out with 1:40 to go while the older Teng, Jeric, had a crucial turnover in the final minute.
Abdul was the only one who scored double digits for UST, which remained in third place with a 7-3 card with the loss, with 14 points.