Mark Nonoy rose up in overtime, dragging De La Salle University past University of the East in overtime, 85-82, to stay in the hunt for a top-two finish in the UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
With the game tied at 78-78 and only 1:12 left in overtime, Nonoy scored five unanswered points to grant La Salle a priceless 83-78 cushion over UE.
The Red Warriors, though, did not give up and baskets from Clint Escamis and Harvey Pagsanjan brought them within 82-83 with 12.5 seconds left on the clock.
Ultimately, the Green Archers held on as two free throws from Justine Baltazar sealed the 85-82 win, which closed La Salle’s (7-3) gap to University of the Philippines (8-2) for the second seed.
“We really had to dig deep to get this win. I think UE really played well,” said La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren. “Fortunately, we were able to regroup and get the win.”
Nonoy got 11 points, four assists, three steals, and three rebounds while Baltazar added 14 points and 22 rebounds.
Schonny Winston led the Green Archers with 18 points followed by Kurt Lojera’s 17 points. Michael Phillips produced a double-double for La Salle with 12 points, 26 rebounds, and two blocks.
Behind the efforts of Baltazar and Phillips, the Green Archers managed to get 68 rebounds, 38 of which came at the offensive end to, in turn, produce 36 second-chance points. La Salle also got 23 points off turnovers and 40 inside points.
Phillips’ 26 boards were the highest for any Green Archer since Baltazar grabbed 25 back on October 6, 2019 which saw La Salle win over National University, 85-61.
“Still a win for us,” added Pumaren. “It was a hard win. We did not make it easy dahil nung last game against UST, we blew UST, pero today we were not focused.”
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Red Warriors as it ended their hopes of advancing to the post-season.
On the other hand, Pagsanjan led UP with 23 points followed by Kyla Paranada’s 13, Jeremy Cruz contributed 10 points while Clint Escamis got 10 rebounds.
Both schools shall next play on Saturday at the SM MOA Arena. La Salle takes on University of the Philippines at 4:30 PM while UE goes up against Far Eastern University at 7:00 PM.
La Salle 85 – Winston 18, Lojera 17, Baltazar 14, Phillips M 12, Nonoy 11, Nwankwo 5, Nelle 3, Escandor 2, Galman 2, Cuajao 1, Phillips B 0, Manuel 0.
UE 82 – Pagsanjan 23, Paranada K. 13, Cruz J 10, Beltran 9, Paranada N 9, Escamis 7, Sawat 6, Lorenzana 5, Antiporda 0, Villanueva 0, Guevarra 0, Cruz JP 0, Abatayo 0.
Quarterscores: 9-20, 32-32, 48-57, 69-69, 85-82.