Falcons shock Archers in Nalos return

Joseph Nalos (far right) returned to the Adamson Falcons lineup after serving his one-game suspension to lead the team to a big win over De La Salle Green Archers. File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Point guard Joseph Nalos returned from a one-game suspension with a big game while Papi Sarr provided the marginal basket as the Adamson Falcons shock the De La Salle Green Archers,  75-74, on Saturday in the UAAP Season 78 men's basketball action at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

Nalos triumphantly returned as he finished with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting that kept the Falcons afloat while Sarr delivered the killer blows with two pressure-packed free throws in the final 18 seconds.

It was Adamson's first win over La Salle since the second round of Season 74. 

The Falcons' starting point guard also added he laced it up with four rebounds and six assists in his return after sitting out in the team's sorry loss to the defending champion NU Bulldogs, 79-85, the last time for his disqualifying foul on Ateneo's Vince Tolentino. This time, Nalos and Sarr made sure they would not fall short.

The Falcons completed their fightback from 16 points down by outscoring the Archers, 27-15, in the payoff period. 

The Archers were poised to extend the Falcons' woes when they erected a 14-point lead, 64-50, on a Jeron Teng tip-in with 8:01 left in the game.  But Adamson embarked on a 23-7 run behind Nalos, Jerome Garcia and Sarr to grab the lead, 73-71, with 2:13 left. 

Sarr, who had a monster double-double of 23 points and 14 boards, scored Adamson's final four points -- a jumpshot for the lead and the free throws to seal the game.

Garcia added 13 points and five boards as he teamed up with Nalos and Sarr to shoot 21-of-36 from the field or a whopping 58.3 shooting clip that negated their combined 13 turnovers.

The Archers only had two players hitting in double figures with Paolo Rivero's 23-point, 11-rebound double-double effort and Jeron Teng's 22 points. 

The Falcons won just for the second time this season after coming close to pulling off another shocker against defending champion NU Bulldogs in their last game without the suspended Nalos. 

The Archers, meanwhile, remained at fourth spot with 5-5 win-loss record. 

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