Adamson University's rolled to its fourth-straight win, topping the slumping University of Santo Tomas, 80-69, in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Soaring Falcons grabbed solo fourth at 5-6 in the clogged race to the Final Four, with National University and Far Eastern University (both at 4-6) still to play games later this day.
Adamson went out blazing from the locker room in the third quarter, unleashing a 25-12 period to turn a 41-40 close affair to a 66-52 cushion heading into the final frame.
But the Soaring Falcons were not finished yet. They opened the fourth with an 11-2 blitz, capped by Ricky Peromingan's three-pointer at the 5:47 mark, for an insurmountable 23-point lead, 77-54.
"I had to talk to the team first (after the game), kailangan silang sermonan. I don't think they respected the opponent. I thought that in their minds we can win by just stepping on that court. If we don't play them with respect, tatalunin kami," lamented Adamson head coach Nash Racela despite the victory. His team was up by 23 before UST crawled back late in the game.
Jerom Lastimosa was lethal with 24 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, including a perfect 7-of-7 from the two-point area, and 7-of-8 from the line. He also had six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Vince Magbuhos was effective as a starter with 11 points, eight rebounds, and three steals for the Soaring Falcons.
Joshua Fontanilla delivered 23 points including 10 made free throws as the Growling Tigers dropped their third consecutive match, slipping to 3-8 at seventh.
Adamson will aim to continue its run on Tuesday against the undefeated Ateneo de Manila University at 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, UST will seek to end its slide at 7 pm against the Bulldogs.
Adamson 80 -- Lastimosa 24, Magbuhos 11, Douanga 9, Sabandal 8, Manzano 8, Zaldivar 8, Peromingan 8, Yerro 2, Colonia 2, Hanapi 0, Jaymalin 0, Calisay 0, Fuentebella 0, Erolon 0, Barasi 0, Maata 0.
UST 69 -- Fontanilla 23, Cabanero 13, Manalang 11, Santos 5, Concepcion 4, Gesalem 3, Manaytay 3, Garing 3, Ando 2, Herrera 2, Pangilinan 0, Yongco 0, Canoy 0.
Quarterscores: 22-21, 41-40, 66-52, 80-69. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)