Far Eastern University sent Adamson packing in the Final Four race of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament with a 63-60 squeaker Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
L-Jay Gonzales poured 11 points, eight rebounds, and three assists, including the crucial split from the line with 1:28 to play as the Tamaraws blanked the Soaring Falcons in the final minute.
Jerom Lastimosa, though, still had a shot to force overtime after Adamson forced FEU to a crucial five-second inbounds violation with 11.4 seconds to spare, but he muffed his trey as time expired.
The Tamaraws stayed in fourth place with their 7-6 record.
“Obviously we’re happy with the win, which was our seventh, but actually, we haven’t done anything yet. We have no reason really to celebrate,” said coach Olsen Racela.
Wendell Comboy also wound up with 11 points and seven rebounds, as Ken Tuffin tallied 11 points and seven boards in a game where FEU lost hold of a 12-point lead, 55-43 in the fourth period.
Cameroonian center Patrick Tchuente did his job down low with 16 rebounds, while also collecting four points and two blocks.
It was a bitter setback for Adamson, which missed its first semifinals since coach Franz Pumaren took over in 2016.
Congolese big man Lenda Douanga paced the Soaring Falcons with 10 points, 22 rebounds, and two blocks, but that wasn’t enough to save his side from falling to 4-8.
Meanwhile, University of the Philippines secured at least a playoff in the Final Four with an 80-77 escape over National University in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jun Manzo came alive in the second half, where he poured 12 of his 14 points and lead the Fighting Maroons to back-to-back victories, hiking their record to 8-4.
UP can secure the semifinals spot if either FEU, who is facing Adamson as of press time, or La Salle, taking on UST later in the day, lose their respective games.
“The expectations are a little higher than that. Parang dapat lang na nandoon tayo,” said coach Bo Perasol. “But we have to count our blessings. We can’t go to the highest point of the competition if we can’t get to the next level.”
Kobe Paras finished with 19 points, six assists, four rebounds, and one block, with his three-pointer with 3:02 remaining pushing the Fighting Maroons ahead, 77-70.
But the Bulldogs kept on scraping, cutting the lead down to two, 77-75, and still had a chance to tie the game up had John Lloyd Clemente converted on his left wing jumper. But he missed terribly on his shot, leading to Manzo going 3-of-4 from the line with 13 seconds to play.
The door remained open for NU in the clutch, but Shaun Ildefonso botched his potential game-tying trey at the buzzer.
Bright Akhuetie poured 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while Juan Gomez de Liano also nabbed 11 points, 11 rebounds, and six dimes in the win.
JV Gallego racked a career-best 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists to compliment Dave Ildefonso’s 24 points, six boards, six assists, and three steals.
NU stayed at the cellar with its 2-10 card.