MANILA – National University banked on Kean Baclaan in the second half to prevail over Adamson University, 69-66, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s basketball at UST Quadricentennial Pavilion in Manila on Saturday.
Baclaan scored 19 points in the second half, including five triples in the third quarter, issued 5 assists and hauled down 4 rebounds as the Bulldogs rolled to their fourth straight win and ended the first round of the eliminations in solo second at 6-1.
University of the Philippines (6-0) paces the field and will eye a sweep against Ateneo (3-3) at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Jake Figueroa added 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and one block for NU, while Nash Enriquez had 13 points and three rebounds.
"Pinrove ko lang yung worth ko sa team. Pinakita ko lang kung ano ‘yung kaya ko ma-itulong sa team. Hindi ko naman inisip ‘yung points, kusa lang din dumating. Parang ngayon lang nangyari sa akin ‘yun limang sunud-sunod na three points (I just proved my worth to the team. I just showed what I can do to help the team. I didn't think about the points, they just came. Five consecutive three points happened to me just now)," said Baclaan.
Jake Figueroa had 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal, while Nash Enriquez added 13 points and three rebounds.
Baclaan's basket broke a 63-all count and set off a 6-0 run to give NU a 69-63 lead, 1:28 remaining.
Matthew Montebon sank a triple as the Falcons closed in at 66-69 but he missed a three-pointer, 32 seconds left, while Joshua Yerro failed to score as time expired.
"Give credit sa Adamson talaga. Alam naman naming hindi porket nandoon sila sa anumang posisyon nila, mahina na. Ever since, I know coach Nash (Racela) kahit saan siya mapunta, nagiging very competitive ‘yung team na ‘yun (Give credit to Adamson. We know that they are not weak in any position they are in. Ever since, I know coach Nash. Wherever he goes, that team becomes very competitive)," NU coach Jeff Napa said.
Matt Erolon had 14 points and two steals for Adamson, which led 17-11 in the first quarter and remained ahead, 41-30, at halftime.
Montebon made 11 points and two assists and OJ Ojarikre had 10 points and six rebounds for the Falcons, who absorbed their fourth loss against three wins. (PNA)