Lenda Douanga came up big for Adamson University, hitting the game-winning triple to lift the Falcons to a thrilling 84-83 overtime victory against the NU Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 82 Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
With 1.4 seconds left on the clock, the Congolese center drilled a booming 3-pointer at the top of the key that gave the Falcons their first win and also sent the Adamson faithful into bedlam. His heroics came just in time after NU's Dave Ildefonso converted on a tough drive in the previous play for what appeared to be the game-winner.
"Well, we needed that win," said coach Franz Pumaren as the Falcons were coming off a loss in their season opener.
"I guess we were searching for the right combination. I think that's the downside of having a young team, having some new guys. We're still searching for the right chemistry," he added.
Douanga finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds, and a block. Simon Camacho also had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Val Chauca added 13 points.
"We don't think it was a lucky shot, it was a designed play - the last shot," Pumaren said with a smile.
Douanga's clutch performance was badly needed by the Falcons in the waning moments of overtime. Ildefonso to hit a tough reverse layup to give the Bulldogs a precarious two-point lead with 44.4 seconds remaining in the extra session. After a Jerrick Ahanmisi miss, Douanga was fouled while getting rebound. He trooped to the line and tied the game with 22.6 ticks left.
Ildefonso, who finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, and four steals, delivered another clutch basket. When it looked like NU was going to get a win in its season debut, Douanga was able to save the day for the Falcons.
Issa Gaye contributed 16 points and four rebounds and John Lloyd Clemente chipped in with 11 for NU in a losing effort.
The Falcons shot 39 percent from the field and decisively won the rebounding battle, 64-44. They improve to 1-1 in the standings.
"Actually, this was the hardest game. Why? Because coming up from the opening, probably... we have to give credit to Ateneo, they really played well," said Pumaren. "What we saw the last time around was really not the Adamson team that we projected. That's why this win is so important for us to really settle down and show what we're capable of doing. And I guess it was a good testament."
ADAMSON 84 -- Douanga 26, Camacho 14, Chauca 13, Lastimosa 10, Ahanmisi 10, Flowers 7, Zaldivar 2, Fermin 2, Bernardo 0, Yerro 0, Mojica 0, Manlapaz 0, Magbuhos 0.
NU 83 -- Ildefonso 29, Gaye 16, Clemente 11, Oczon 7, Joson 5, S. Ildefonso 5, Mosqueda 3, Minerva 2, Mangayao 2, Diputado 2, Rangel 1, Tibayan 0, Yu 0, Gallego 0.
Quarters: 15-21, 31-30, 54-58, 74-74, 84-83.