De La Salle University banked on explosive second half performance to hack out a pulsating 80-76 come-from-behind win over Ateneo De Manila University on Sunday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Jeron Teng posted 18 points plus six rebounds and four assists, while guard Thomas Torres sizzled with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists to lead the Green Archers, who now improve to 4-3 win-loss record at the end of first round.
Jason Perkins added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the field, while forward Prince Rivero had 10 points and Joshua Torralba produced seven of his nine points in the second half also for La Salle.
Kiefer Ravena scored 19 points plus five rebounds and five assists to lead the Blue Eagles, who also ended the first round with 4-3 win-loss record.
In the first game, Adamson University finally barged into win column at the end of first round by weathering University of the Philippines’ late rally to post a 73-68 win.
It was the first victory of the Falcons in seven games played.
Second-year guard Jerome Garcia led Adamson with 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting in the field plus five triples, while Joseph Nalos added 15 points along with five assists and five rebounds, and Frederick Tungcab posted 13 points.
Big man Papi Sarr made eight points and collected 15 rebounds also for the Falcons.
The Falcons took a commanding 18 point lead in the second quarter, but they were outscored by the Fighting Maroons in the third period (18-10) to put the game into striking distance. Paul Desiderio scored 26 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.
UP tied the game at 59-all, but Adamson refused to end the first round winless, as Tungcab scored on a lay-up that provided them a 70-66 lead. The Falcons also grabbed crucial offensive rebounds to control the game in their favor at the last minute mark.
“It was a good win. I told them to end the first round with a win and yes they did,” said rookie coach Mike Fermin during a post game interview.
Lack of maturity also cost Adamson the game after game officials slapped them with two technical fouls – one each on Fermin and Alvin Margallo during second half.
“That’s just a human reaction, gesture,” Fermin reasoned out.
The Falcons shot more three-pointers than the Fighting Maroons (9-5).
The Fighting Maroons absorbed a stinging fifth straight defeat after starting the season with 2-0 record. They are now holding a 2-5 win-loss record.