By Gio Gloria

Adamson Soaring Falcons def. NU Bulldogs, 72-53 

Notable Players 

Jerrick Ahanmisi (15 points, three 3-pointers, and three rebounds) 

After going scoreless in the first quarter, Jerrick Ahanmisi found his rhythm in the latter three quarters by playing within the offense. His 3-pointers helped open up the floor for Adamson’s slashers, with Jerom Lastimosa, AP Manlapaz, and Simon Camacho benefitting from the driving lanes that opened up. 

Jerom Lastimosa (10 points, six rebounds, nine assists, and four steals) 

Jerom Lastimosa orchestrated the Adamson offense in what was initially a close game that broke open in the final quarter. He was all over the court as he provided his teammates with opportunities on offense, rebounded on both ends of the floor, and served as the tip of the spear in Soaring Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren’s press. Further proof that he never gave up on the play was his effort to putback Lenda Douanga’s missed dunk and extend the Adamson lead to 16, 67-51. 

AP Manlapaz (14 points and four rebounds) 

AP Manlapaz was instrumental in the Soaring Falcons’ fourth victory in UAAP Season 82. After scoring the go-ahead basket for Adamson in the third quarter, Manlapaz proceeded to score 10 of his 14 points in the decisive fourth quarter. The former Baby Falcon’s energy made up for the struggles of the Soaring Falcons’ leading scorer and birthday boy Val Chauca, who made his only basket with 7:48 left in the game. 

Dave Ildefonso (15 points and eight rebounds)

Dave Ildefonso was also scoreless in the first quarter but he remained as crafty as ever, going deep into his bag of tricks to go toe-to-toe with Adamson. However, he struggled to keep the same energy in the final quarter and could not counter the adjustments the Soaring Falcons’ defense made during the latter portions of the game. 

Issa Gaye (14 points and 10 rebounds) 

Issa Gaye made a living in the perimeter, taking what the Adamson defense was giving him. His timely mid-range jump shots kept NU in the game and frustrated Lenda Douanga, who preferred to stay in the paint. The Senegalese center also shouldered the offense in the third quarter and other than Dave Ildefonso and John Lloyd Clemente, he had little help against the Soaring Falcons. 

Quick Analysis 

  • The first quarter was perhaps an outlier, as both teams struggled out of the gate. NU made some sloppy passes, while Adamson did not make their first field goal until Camacho ended the drought with a reverse layup at the 2:11 mark of the first quarter. 
  • Both teams turned the page in the second quarter as the Soaring Falcons and the Bulldogs matched their respective first quarter outputs with 5:25 left before halftime and each squad scored at least 22 points enroute to a 34-32 halftime score in favor of NU.
  • Seven players scored for the Soaring Falcons, who scored 24 points in the fourth quarter, while three players scored six points for the Bulldogs during that same stretch.
  • Adamson’s ball movement allowed them to stay in the game and eventually snatch the win from NU. The Soaring Falcons’ 20 assists contributed to five of their players finishing this game in double figures, led by Ahanmisi’s 15. Defensively, Adamson’s eight steals helped them generate eight fastbreak points and 15 points off turnovers. 
  • The Soaring Falcons outrebounded the Bulldogs 46-40, and clearly lorded over NU in the paint thanks to their five blocks.