(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. -- AdU vs. UP (M)
4 p.m. -- UST vs. FEU (M)
LA SALLE withstood a late Adamson fightback from 17 points down in the second half to fashion out an 86-79 win and extended its perfect run to eight games in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena last night.
The Green Archers broke away in the second period and posted the game’s biggest lead at 59-42 on a Ricci Rivero triple when the Falcons regrouped behind Jerrick Ahanmisi and moved to within a basket twice, the last was at 79-81.
But Kib Montalbo was there for the dagger, nailing a key three-pointer from a Rivero assist in the last 46.7 seconds to give La Salle a 84-79 cushion.
Archers coach Aldin Ayo, who returned from a one-game suspension, was satisfied his troops responded by being faithful with the system.
Earlier, Far Eastern University completed a sweep of its back-to-back set with National University this week, hacking out a narrow 57-56 victory to maintain its solo hold of second place.
The Tamaraws banked on Monbert Arong’s game-clinching jumper in the final 3.7 seconds to extend their winning run to five and sixth overall in eight starts.
The Bulldogs tried to snatch the win, but Alfred Aroga, trying to atone from the defensive lapse on Arong, missed badly his jumper from the free throw area.
La Salle won even without skipper Jeron Teng, who is out for the second straight game due to injury, as the league leaders are seeking to sustain its lofty standing.
Ben Mbala barely tallied his eighth double-double with 18 points and a season-low 10 rebounds while Rivero added 14 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Archers.
Ahanmisi fired 27 points while Papi Sarr contributed 13 points and six rebounds for the Falcons.
The Tamaraws are very much aware that the second round, with the lower-ranked teams trying to climb at the upper half of the standings, is not a cakewalk.
NU failed to avenge its last Wednesday’s 75-78 loss to FEU as it fell in a tie with Ateneo and Adamson at 4-4.
Raymar Jose delivered a double-double effort of 14 points and 13 rebounds while Arong was the other Tamaraw in twin digits with 13 points.
FEU (57) -- Jose 14, Arong 13, Comboy 7, Trinidad 6, Escoto 5, Dennison 4, Holmqvist 3, Denila 2, Ebona 2, Orizu 1, Tuffin 0, Bayquin 0, Roxas 0.
NU (56) -- Aroga 22, Diputado R. 8, Alejandro 7, Gallego 6, Sinclair 5, Morido 2, Pate 2, Go 2, Salim 1, Rangel 1, Salem 0, Diputado C. 0, Mosqueda 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 19-19, 30-32, 45-50, 57-56.
DLSU (86) -- Mbala 18, Rivero R. 14, Melecio 11, Torres 9, Montalbo 8, Tratter 7, Perkins 5, Caracut 4, Baltazar 4, Paraiso 2, Dyke 2, Sargent 2, Go 0.
AdU (79) -- Ahanmisi 27, Sarr 13, Manganti 12, Espeleta 9, Bernardo 6, Manalang 3, Ochea 3, Mustre 3, Ng 3, Paranada 0, Camacho 0, Pasturan 0, Ballon 0.
Quarterscores: 17-19, 44-33, 66-55, 86-79.