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Adamson's Montebon, UST's Villasin secure weekly UAAP player awards

MANILA, Philippines – Carving out contrasting performances in the recent week, Adamson’s Mathew Montebon and University of Santo Tomas’ Nikki Villasin shone to boost their respective team’s Final Four campaigns at the end the UAAP Season 86 basketball elimination round.

Montebon nailed a stepback triple in the dying seconds of Adamson’s 63-61 victory against University of the East on Sunday to forge a knockout match versus Ateneo for the last Final Four berth in the men’s tournament.

Villasin’s career-high 20 points helped the Growling Tigresses’ dominate Ateneo, 80-68, and cap off UST’s elimination assignments by riding a four-game winning run armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against No.3 University of the Philippines in the Final Four.

Adamson finished at 7-7 for a tie with Ateneo as UST placed second with an 11-3 record in the men's and women's play, respectively.

With both cagers playing a vital role for their squads, the Collegiate Press Corps hailed Montebon and Villasin as the UAAP Men’s and Women’s Players of the Week for the period of Nov. 15 to 19.

The Soaring Falcons guard dropped 16 points including four 3-pointers, seven rebounds and two assists to save Adamson from elimination against the also-ran but hard-fighting UE on Sunday.

Adamson had Montebon finishing with 12 points including two treys, six rebounds, five assists and a steal in the Falcons’ much-needed 68-62 victory over the National University Bulldogs last Wednesday.

Averaging 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, three treys and 0.5 steals, Montebon edged out UP's Francis Lopez and two-time Player of the Week Kevin Quiambao of La Salle.

“I think from the very beginning that’s what we emphasized to our players: There are no freebies in this world. You have to earn everything. You have to take it if you want it,” Adamson coach Nash Racela said after their win against the Red Warriors.

“Today, we thank UE for allowing us to [work for the win]. Talagang pinahirapan kami. They didn’t give it to us on a silver platter."

Meanwhile, Villasin led UST to crucial victories over the Blue Eagles and Lady Tamaraws with an average of 17.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.0 steals.