MANILA, Philippines – L-Jay Gonzales shook off a bad fall to lead Far Eastern University past Adamson, 49-46, for its second straight victory in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The graduating point guard took a hard fall on the LED board after a missed layup attempt, with the Tamaraws holding a slim 41-38 lead in the fourth quarter. He was subbed out with 4:17 left to be checked by their team staff.
After a few minutes, Gonzales returned and scored four of the Tamaraws’ last six points in the final two minutes, including a pair of free throws for a 47-43 cushion with 16.3 ticks to go after Vince Magbuhos of the Falcons had tied the score. game at 43-all.
Two freebies from Royce Alforque, followed by a crucial stop, sealed the win for FEU.
“I didn’t think about (the pain of my bad fall). I wanted to win and we wanted to get our second win. We kept doing our job and defending our opponents until the end of the game,” Gonzales said in Filipino after leading the way for the Tams with 13 points and nine rebounds.
“All I wanted was to shoot the ball for my team. My mentality is to always shoot the ball because the coach wanted me to make those shots or get fouled,” he added.
Patrick Sleat also shined with 10 points for FEU (2-4), which bounced back from an 8-21 start, while Alforque added eight points and four assists.
“This kind of game is what our players need because it gives them experience. We did not defend Adamson well in the first quarter, but hats off to my players because they worked very hard defensively from the second to the fourth quarter,” FEU coach Denok Miranda said in Filipino.
Gonzales has been the hero for FEU since Saturday, after sinking clutch shots to beat Ateneo in extra time. The Tamaraws close the first round on Sunday against the winless University of Santo Tomas (0-6).
Adamson fell to a 3-3 record tied with Ateneo before facing No. 2 seed National University on Saturday at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
Joshua Yerro led the Falcons with 12 points, while Ced Manzano had nine points and 10 rebounds.
FEU (49) – Gonzales 13, Sleat 10, Alforque 8, Torres 6, Bautista 5, Bagunu 3, Faty 2, Ona 2, Tempra 0, Competent 0.
AdU (46) – Yerro 12, Manzano 9, Magbuhos 7, Sabandal 6, Calisay 4, Colonia 3, Ojarikre 2, Hanapi 2, Ramos 1, Montebon 0, Barasi 0, Erolon 0, Barcelona 0.
Quarter scores: 8-21, 22-27, 32-34, 49-46