Jerom Lastimosa buried the game-winning triple as Adamson University boosted its Final Four chances after beating National University, 64-63, in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.
The Bulldogs were ahead by just one under one minute. Then Lastimosa missed back-to-back three-pointers, which forced the Soaring Falcons to send Steve Nash Enriquez on the line with 18.6 ticks to go.
However, Enriquez split his free throws, opening up the opportunity for Lastimosa to redeem himself.
Holding his composure, he drained the trey with 5.5 seconds left.
Enriquez – who went 2-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final minute – tried to give NU the win. Unfortunately, though, he missed his attempt from downtown.
“I know si Jerom is struggling today, that was obvious because NU made adjustments. But yeah, he made the most important shot of the game. And before it happened, Lenda [Dounga] was able to carry us through,” said Soaring Falcons coach Nash Racela.
Douanga top-scored for Adamson with 16 points, including two threes, with six rebounds, while Didat Hanapi had nine points.
Lastimosa finished with seven points and five rebounds.
“We’re still alive, and alam ko na yung dalawang tira ko, hindi siya pumasok. Pero I never gave up sa last shot. I think deserve ko naman yun kasi pinapractice ko talaga ‘yun,” said the 5-foot-10 combo guard.
The Soaring Falcons rose to 7-6 at solo fourth, but the 6-6 De La Salle University still has a game later against University of the East. Adamson will still face the Blue Eagles on Wednesday, 4:00 PM, at the Big Dome in their final assignment in the elims.
On the other hand, the Bulldogs slid to 9-5 at third. They now hope that Ateneo de Manila University (9-3) will drop its last two games for a playoff for the final twice-to-beat edge.
Enriquez registered 18 points and four assists in the losing cause. Meanwhile, Jake Figueroa tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds.
NU played without Kean Baclaan, who is serving a suspension after his ejection in their last game. He picked up two technical fouls for faking a foul.
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.
Quarterscores: 18-14, 33-36, 53-48, 64-63.