Adamson takes down La Salle to snatch last Final Four slot

The Adamson University Soaring Falcons defeated the De La Salle University Green Archers, 80-76, to nab the last Final Four spot in the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament last Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

With the victory, the Soaring Falcons will face top seed Ateneo de Manila University, which holds a twice-to-beat edge, in the Final Four on Wednesday at 6 pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"We're happy to be in the Final Four. We're actually gatecrashing the Final Four,” said Adamson coach Nash Racela.

"We will check our emotions because we don't want to be in a high because may trabaho pa and we're still gonna play Wednesday and the weekend."

Down by a single point, Lenda Douanga took matters to his own hand, draining a push shot before dishing to Cedrick Manzano the next play for the reverse layup and a three-point Adamson lead with 58.8 seconds left, 77-74.

After multiple empty possessions on both ends, Evan Nelle came up clutch, stealing Joem Sabandal's inbound and burying a lay-in to pull La Salle within one with 15.4 ticks to go, 76-77.

The Green Archers were forced to put Jerom Lastimosa on the line in the ensuing play, which the Soaring Falcon made both to push them up by three anew, 79-76, before Nelle missed his three-pointer attempt badly, only hitting the side of the board as Joshua Yerro iced the game from the charity stripe.

La Salle led by as much as 13 in the third frame, 51-38 but Lastimosa went ballistic, going for 11 of his 22 points there to help Adamson inch within one at the end of the quarter, 59-60.

Lastimosa also added six assists and a steal, while Yerro had 13 points and six rebounds.

AP Manlapaz chimed in 22 points while Douanga got 10 points and seven rebounds.

In the sudden death playoff for fourth seed, the Green Archers did not have three of their best players in Schonny Winston, Mike Phillips, and Kevin Quiambao.

They were paced by Nelle with 22 points, seven assists, and four rebounds but committed seven turnovers as well.

Mark Nonoy contributed 15 points while CJ Austria and Ben Phillips produced 11 points apiece.