De La Salle University needed a huge fourth quarter to shrug off also-ran Far Eastern University, 80-70, and stay alive for a playoff incentive in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Wednesday.
The Green Archers stretched their winning streak to seven games while also elevating their record to 10-3, just half a game behind second-running National University, which is playing Adamson University as of publishing time.
“We reminded everybody that FEU has zero chance of making it to the next round but we expect that they’re gonna come out with 100 percent effort which they showed. They kept us on our toes, kept us grounded and I’m just happy how our players responded to the challenge,” said La Salle head coach Topex Robinson.
Tied at 64 early in the fourth period, Evan Nelle, Evan Nelle drilled a triple that started an avalanche of points for the Green Archers.
Raven Cortez, CJ Austria, Francis Escandor, and Kevin Quiambao then contributed 13 more points while holding the Tamaraws to just two points to build a commanding 80-66 lead with just 3:19 to go.
“I’m just happy na undefeated pa rin kami this second round and yung mga wins na yan, we did it because we stick to the system,” said Raven Cortez, who had 16 points including 12 in the second half.
Mark Nonoy followed up his 25-point performance against University of the East last Sunday with a 15-point showing this game on five three-pointers.
Quiambao added 13 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block, while Nelle supplied 12 assists to go with seven points and four steals.
La Salle’s final game of eliminations will be on Saturday against its rival Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Jorick Bautista delivered 17 points on four three-pointers as the Tamaraws’ slide continued, receiving their fifth straight defeat to slip to 3-10.
Patrick Sleat chipped in 11 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while L-Jay Gonzales and Cedrickh Ona produced 10 points apiece with the former also grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out four assists.
FEU will play University of Santo Tomas in its final game of the season on Saturday as well.
DLSU 80 – Cortez 16, Nonoy 15, Quiambao 13, Nelle 7, Escandor 7, Austria 5, Abadam 4, Nwankwo 4, Policarpio 3, Gollena 3, Manuel 3, B. Phillips 0, Macalalag 0.
FEU 70 – Bautista 17, Sleat 11, Gonzales 10, Ona 10, Competente 7, Bagunu 6, Tempra 4, Torres 2, Montemayor 2, Buenaventura 1, Faty 0.
Quarterscores: 21-18, 41-40, 62-61, 80-70