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Montebon hits game-winner as Falcons force playoff vs Blue Eagles for last semis slot

MANILA, Philippines -- Off to the playoff, they go.

With their backs against the wall, Monty Montebon and the Adamson Soaring Falcons powered through and squeaked past the UE Red Warriors, 63-61, Sunday  at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City to keep their semifinal hopes alive.

With Adamson leading by two, 60-58, with 17.2 seconds remaining following a split from the line by Vince Magbuhos, UE’s Jack Cruz-Dumont hit a booming 3-pointer that gave the Red Warriors a 61-60 edge.

With just 6.5 seconds to make a play, Adamson took some time to inbound the basketball, but it eventually found Monty Montebon’s hands.

Montebon received the ball, went to the deep left corner and launched the 3-pointer of his life.

The ball met the bottom of the net as Adamson took a 63-61 lead with 2.3 seconds remaining.

A last gasp shot by UE hit just the side of the board as the Falcons escaped with the win.

Adamson’s escape act came despite blowing an early 35-25 lead.

After trailing the majority of the way, UE took a one-point lead with 2:16 remaining in the game, 58-57, following a layup by Precious Momowei.

The Falcons then stole the ball on the other end, and Hanapi made up for his miss with a layup with 54.9 seconds remaining, 59-58.

It then set the stage for the cardiac finish.

Montebon and Ced Manzano led the Falcons with 16 points apiece.

Remogat, who carried the Warriors the whole season, ended his season with a near triple-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Precious Momowei, who missed the last game due to a suspension, had 15 points and 11 rebounds for UE.

With the Falcons’ win, they are in a deadlock with defending champion Ateneo, which is also holding a 7-7 slate.

UE exits the season with a 4-10 win-loss record.