Lao's last second free throw bails out UST vs Adamson | Inquirer Sports
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Lao’s last second free throw bails out UST vs Adamson

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 05:40 PM July 26, 2014

Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo

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MANILA, Philippines — Kent Lao bailed out University of Santo Tomas with a last-second free throw to escape Adamson, 50-49, in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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Lao finally sank a free throw with 1.1 seconds left after missing his first three free throws, two of which came 30 seconds earlier that would’ve given the Growling Tigers the lead.

Photo by Ryan Leagogo/INQUIRER.net

“I felt more pressured going back to the free throw line after I missed my first two free throws luckily I was able to make the last one,” said Lao, who earned his minutes after his breakout performance in a win over Far Eastern University last Sunday.

Returning swingman Louie Vigil led UST with 11 points, Kevin Ferrer added 10 points, including two freebies that knotted the count at 49 with 1:57 remaining, and Karim Abdul had eight points, nine rebounds and four blocks while barely getting any rest.

The Tigers picked up their second straight win after their embarrassing loss to the National University Bulldogs in their opening game but with 20 turnovers and a 28% shooting from the field, including one-of-16 from the three-point area, head coach Bong dela Cruz wasn’t pleased with how his team came out and nearly lost to the rebuilding Falcons.

“I don’t know what happened with us after playing a good game against FEU,” Dela Cruz said in Filipino as he shook his head in disappointment. “They were tentative.”

“That’s also one reason but as a veteran team we can’t have that kind of attitude,” said Dela Cruz when asked if he got complacent playing against a young Adamson side which also missed its main gunner and skipper Don Trollano.

Trollano, who averages close to 11 points per game in his first two games, served a one-game suspension after getting slapped with a disqualifying foul in the Falcons’ 72-99 defeat at the hands of the University of the East Red Warriors.

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Adamson led by as much as nine, 42-33, after a baseline floater by Axel Iñigo with a shade under six minutes left in the third quarter.

“We played really bad defense that’s why adamson was able to lead us in the game. In the fourth quarter, luckily we were able to step up our defense,” said Abdul, who played 38 minutes.

The Falcons also committed 20 turnovers and none bigger than their last one where Jansen Rios lost the ball near the Tigers’ basket that eventually led to Lao’s game-winning free throw.

“I lack of focus. I can’t really say what the problem is but I think we have the potential to be a top team but we lack the focus,” Abdul said.

Ed Daquioag, a key part of UST’s rotation, missed the game due to fever and dela Cruz said his absence disrupted his team’s flow.

“We’ve been practicing with him for five to six days and we only learned that he’s not going to play this morning.”

UST skipper Aljon Mariano has yet to produce his usual offensive game with just seven points on two-of-nine shooting from the field.

Dela Cruz remains positive that Mariano will be able to find his touch in the next few games.

Jessie Pedrosa paced Adamson, which suffered its third setback in as many games, with 10 points off-the-bench.

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TAGS: Adamson, Basketball, Campus clash, Sports, UAAP, UAAP 77, UST
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