MANILA, Philippines—Jerom Lastimosa normally takes countless three-point shots in practice, drilling most of them with precision in any angle he prefers.
The shifty Adamson guard casually nailed the game-clinching three with 5.5 seconds remaining on Saturday, lifting the Falcons over the National University Bulldogs, 64-63, at the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
The victory, Adamson’s seventh in 13 games, kept their hopes for a Final Four appearance going as they closed out the elimination phase against the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Wednesday.
“We’re still alive. My two shots didn’t go in, but I never gave up with that last attempt. I practice that everyday and I think I deserve it,” said Lastimosa.
Lenda Douanga scored 16 points, including a pair of rare threes that proved pivotal in a huge run in the third quarter for the Falcons, who are looking to book the final and last spot in the semifinals.
Steve Enriquez had an open look at the rim, but his shot bounced off as time ran out, sending the Bulldogs to their fifth defeat in wrapping out their elimination-round campaign.
Still, the Bulldogs will progress to the Final Four, although there’s no longer an assurance that they could seize a twice-to-beat edge in the playoff pending the results of Ateneo’s last two assignments opposite UP and Adamson.
“This is a very big win. A lot of people are already counting us out, but we want to counter that. (Against Ateneo), we will give our best just like in every game we play,” said Adamson coach Nash Racela.
Enriquez scored six of his 18 points in the fourth, John Figueroa added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Omar John had 10 for the Bulldogs.
ADAMSON 64 — Douanga 16, Hanapi 9, Manlapaz 8, Lastimosa 7, Yerro 4, Sabandal 4, Fuentebella 3, Jaymalin 3, Colonia 2, Barcelona 2, Manzano 2, Barasi 2, V. Magbuhos 2, Flowers 0, Torres 0.
NU 63 — Enriquez 18, Figueroa 13, John 10, Malonzo 7, Clemente 5, Tibayan 4, Yu 2, Palacielo 2, Manansala 1, Galinato 1, Minerva 0, Mahinay 0, Tulabut 0.
Quarters: 18-14, 33-36, 53-48, 64-63.