Archers stay in the hunt for Final Four berth

La Salle has done its part in keeping its Final Four hopes alive. Now the Green Archers will wait and see what unfolds on Sunday.

Banking on a telling surge in the third quarter, La Salle turned back Adamson, 72-59, to stay very much in the hunt for a semifinal slot in UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball action at the MOA Arena.

Prolific rookie Jeron Teng scattered 19 points and issued a game-high nine assists while the Torres duo–center Norbert and guard Thomas–combined for 23 markers and 19 rebounds for the Green Archers, who seized solo fourth with a 9-5 mark, just half-a-game ahead of host National University.

Coach Gee Abanilla welcomed the morale-boosting victory but quickly reminded his players not to celebrate yet.

“Nagawa namin ang dapat naming gawin,” noted Abanilla. “It’s all up to God kung ano ang plan Niya sa’min. At least, one foot namin nasa loob na. But we’ll have to wait on Sunday kung ano man ang magiging resulta.”

The Green Archers will definitely have their eyes on the Tamaraws-Bulldogs’ replay match on Sunday.

If FEU wins, the semis cast will be completed, with the Tamaraws facing UST in a playoff for the second seed and the Archers securing the fourth seed and a Final Four date with archrival Ateneo. An NU victory, however, will forge a three-way tie, with the Bulldogs gaining the third spot while forcing a knockout tiff between the Tamaraws and the Archers for the fourth and final spot.

Roider Cabrera tallied with 17 points for the Falcons, who made it to the semis last season but endured a rocky outing this year, finishing sixth at 3-11. Adamson faces a rebuilding year as ace wingman Alex Nuyles, Eric Camson, Allen Etrone, Jeff Olalia and James Dean have all played out their eligibility.

After Ryan Monteclaro pulled the Falcons 25-27 early in the third, the Green Archers broke loose behind a jarring 16-3 run to build a comfortable 43-28.

Adamson repeatedly threatened to close the gap but Teng emerged as the fireman for La Salle, firing eight points in the fourth that kept the Falcons at bay.

“I want to commend our boys for doing a good job. They really sacrificed a lot. Despite all the injuries we managed to have a 9-5 record and that’s a good feat for us,” added Abanilla.