De La Salle University needed Mark Nonoy's late spark to avoid disaster against University of the East in overtime, 85-82, in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Green Archers win brought them to 7-3, just a game behind second seed University of the Philippines with a matchup looming on Saturday, 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, the Red Warriors were eliminated at 0-10.
Knotted at 78, Nonoy threw a triple but missed. Luckily, he got the ball again and drained an off-balanced mid-range jumper off the board for the lead with 49.8 seconds to go in the extra period, 80-78.
On the other end, Red Warrior Clint Escamis was able to fish for a foul but missed both his freebies, setting up for a Nonoy three with just 23.6 ticks left, 83-78.
UE though replied as Harvey Pagsanjan made back-to-back layups to inch within a point, 82-83, with 12.5 seconds remaining.
But Justine Baltazar - who was shooting 4-of-8 from the line - coolly made both his free throws while Pagsanjan missed his three as time expired.
“We really had to dig deep to get this win. I think UE really played well,” said La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren. “Fortunately, we were able to regroup and get the win.”
Baltazar put up 14 points and 22 rebounds, while Michael Phillips grabbed 26 rebounds to go with 12 points. The two of them outscored the whole Red Warriors, 48-41.
Schonny Winston topscored for the Green Archers with 18 points while Kurt Lojera had 17.
Pagsanjan had a game-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds for UE.
The Red Warriors will close Saturday's quadruple-header against Far Eastern University at 7 pm.
DLSU 85 -- Winston 18, Lojera 17, Baltazar 14, M. Phillips 12, Nonoy 11, Nwankwo 5, Nelle 3, Escandor 2, Galman 2, Cuajao 1, B. Phillips 0, Manuel 0.
UE 82 -- Pagsanjan 23, K. Paranada 13, J. Cruz 10, Beltran 9, N. Paranada 9, Escamis 7, Sawat 6, Lorenzana 5, Antiporda 0, Villanueva 0, Guevarra 0, P. Cruz 0, Abatayo 0.
Quarterscores: 9-20, 32-32, 48-57, 69-69, 85-82. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)