National University outlasted Adamson University, 69-66, to strengthen its hold of second spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 men’s basketball tournament at the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavillion yesterday.
Kean Baclaan led the Bulldogs with 19 points to boost the Bulldogs win-loss mark to 6-1.
NU head coach Jeff Napa said he and the team had to adjust against Soaring Falcons tactician Nash Racela, especially in the final seconds of the match.
“Give credit to Adamson. We knew we couldn’t underestimate them just because of their ranking,” Napa said.
“No matter where he goes, coach Nash is very competitive. We had to work hard in the third quarter that’s why we got the win.”
Steve Nash Enriquez sank a banked floater with one minute and 28 minutes left in the fourth quarter to give NU a 69-63 lead.
But Matthew Montebon responded with a triple to pull Adamson to within three, 66-69 with 1:14 minutes left.
The Falcons, however, couldn’t force the game into overtime after Montebon missed a three-point attempt with 32 seconds left on the clock.
Jerry Yerro had one more attempt for the Falcons but missed in the dying seconds of the match.
Jake Figueroa fired 17 points for NU behind a 7-of-10 shooting clip while Enriquez had 13 points with a 5-of-7 clip for the Bulldogs.
Matt Erolon had 14 points but it wasn’t enough as Adamson sank to fifth with a 3-4 slate.