STILL ALIVE at 4-6!
CJ Austria swished the biggest buzzer beating triple of his young collegiate career as he starred in the 81-78 escape act of the DLSU Green Archers over the Adamson Falcons this morning at the Big Dome.
It was a near-apocalyptic moment when Adamson import Lenda Douanga heaved a wide-open three, the same shot from the same spot that sent the DLSU – ADU round one encounter into overtime. This time, instead of going through the net, it hit the left part of the ring with 22 seconds to go.
At that point, with the game tied at 78-all and with the game clock on our side, the Archers ran the clock. With 10 ticks to go, Evan Nelle attacked the Adamson defense but got doubled on the baseline in his way to the basket. He kicked it out to Ben Phillips who immediately fired it to Austria at the corner. Austria immediately pulled the trigger, the ball hit the rim and fell through, and the buzzer sounded, BANG!
The Green Houdinis completed the great escape at 81-78.
Austria ran the court’s length like a soccer player who scored a goal on the World Cup as the rest of the Green Archers chased and mobbed him in celebration.
It was a pile of white jerseys celebrating of a pivotal win over a squad who is also in the running for the last Final Four spot. Austria’s marginal triple gave the erstwhile flat-lining Green Archers a life booster with four games to go in the eliminations.
“It was a shot from heaven”, DLSU coach Derrick Pumaren said in the post-game presser attributing the win to some luck that they did not have during their string of heartbreak L’s.
It was not easy as well.
Adamson was writing their No-Jerom Lastomisa-no-problem headline and was ready for the Schonny Winston-less Archers who were in dire need of a reliable scorer. On the offensive end, the San Marcelino squad prioritized quick ball movement to neutralize double teams and patiently rotated the ball looking for an open Falcon. In most parts of the game, Adamson was in control.
But the Green Archers wanted it more today. Michael Phillips flew over a phalanx of Adamson block outs and followed up a triple miss by Ben Phillips for the equalizer at 78-all with 41 seconds remaining.
The Soaring Falcons could have gone for two-for-one and would have the final possession but excessive dribbling and failing to find an open window led to the Douanga triple try with around 20 seconds left.
Clutch Austria led all Archers with 16 points while Ben and Mike Phillips both added 14. The DLSU full-court defense forced the Falcons into committing 20 turnovers, and the alert green defense had 14 steals that translated into outscoring Adamson in points off turnovers 19-11.
Despite the win, it seems that the Taft film session would have a lot to talk about. Adamson shot 47% with 44% from three while outrebounding La Salle 32-42.
The Green Archers will collide with the league-leading defending champions, UP on Sunday.
ANIMO LA SALLE!