UAAP Basketball

On-fire La Salle wins 5th straight, downs Adamson to claim 3rd Final Four berth

JR Isaga

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On-fire La Salle wins 5th straight, downs Adamson to claim 3rd Final Four berth

HOLD THE FORM. La Salle forward Kevin Quiambao attempts a jump shot in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

La Salle star big men Kevin Quiambao and Michael Phillips lift the Archers to the third UAAP Season 86 Final Four berth after a late pullaway over contending Adamson

MANILA, Philippines – La Salle showed no signs of slowing down in the second round of UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament, as the Green Archers booked the third Final Four ticket off a 69-57 pullaway over the Adamson Soaring Falcons at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, November 8.

MVP frontrunner Kevin Quiambao kept up his stellar play with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds with 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block as La Salle rose to an 8-3 record behind UP and NU, which earned their semis spots in the two games immediately preceding the Archers-Falcons tiff.

Although still a full game behind the league-leading Maroons and Bulldogs, La Salle nonetheless clinched its own Final Four berth due to Ateneo and Adamson still set to clash.

Now tied at 5-6, a loss by either the Eagles or Falcons ensures that the Archers can go no lower than fourth place and thus, still qualified for the playoffs.

Michael Phillips, as usual, hustled all over the court, finishing with 8 points, 11 boards, 4 dimes, 2 steals, and 1 block, while Evan Nelle made up for a 7-point outing on 2-of-8 shooting with 9 rebounds and 2 assists.

With both sides blowing hot and cold all game long, Adamson kept it competitive until the fourth quarter, as Matty Montebon swished a three with 7:57 left to inch with 4, 53-57.

Spark plug guard Mark Nonoy, however, deflated the Falcons’ momentum with a booming corner three after a pair of Bright Nwankwo free throws to mount a 62-53 separation with 5:38 left.

Although the Archers again froze up scoreless in the next four minutes of clutch time, the Falcons also couldn’t buy a bucket of their own, as Montebon missed consecutive triples, while Arthur Calisay blanked from the line in the final minute to practically erase all doubt in the final outcome.

“We’re just so grateful and blessed to be in this situation right now that we’re in. Again, just these guys just never gave up,” said La Salle head coach Topex Robinson, who quickly cruised to the Final Four in his first time handling a UAAP team.

“You know, it was really hard coming off the game against UP, but we never took a break. Just keep on grinding, guys are hurt, but so be it.”

Didat Hanapi led all scorers in the losing effort with 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three as Montebon added 11 points on a 3-of-9 clip from downtown.

The Scores

La Salle 69 – Quiambao 11, M. Phillips 8, David 8, Macalalag 8, Abadam 8, Nelle 7, Nonoy 5, Austria 4, Nwankwo 4, Escandor 2, Gollena 2, Manuel 2, B. Phillips 0.

Adamson 57 – Hanapi 16, Montebon 11, Sabandal 10, Calisay 7, Manzano 4, Yerro 3, Ojarikre 2, Colonia 2, Ramos 2, Anabo 0, Magbuhos 0, Cañete 0, Erolon 0, Barasi 0, Barcelona 0.

Quarters: 20-18, 43-34, 54-50, 69-57.


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