Adamson Soaring Falcons def. NU Bulldogs 69-58
Papi Sarr, Adamson (16 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals)
Sarr has been putting up great numbers as usual but his performance in the first half was arguably his best this season. He scored 11 points in the first quarter to help set the tone for the rest of the game. But it was the simplicity of his performance that was noteworthy. He didn’t try to do too much, just kept sealing his man in the paint and hunting for offensive rebounds. He even jumped into passing lanes a few times and convert on the other end. It was the kind of game that everyone wants to see from him in a more consistent basis. More than the numbers, it’s how he gets them.
Sean Manganti (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block)
Manganti did a little bit of everything once again but it was really his defense that stood out. Except for that third quarter explosion, Manganti did a fantastic job containing super rookie Dave Ildefonso. In the first half, Ildefonso couldn’t even touch the ball with Manganti’s quick feet and long arms denying every opportunity.
Jerie Pingoy (4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal)
This is probably one of the more impressive games I’ve seen Pingoy play. He played controlled and was a very steady presence at the point. It’s well known how he has a tendency to hunt for his own shot but not in this one. He missed the only two shots he took in favor of making sure the offense ran well. If he can just balance his scoring and facilitating abilities, he’d be such a dangerous opponent to go against.
Dave Ildefonso (21 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block)
Ildefonso was the lone bright spot for an NU squad that looked really sluggish. He exploded for 12 points in the third period in an effort to rally his fellow Bulldogs, which almost worked. It’s a testament to his individual abilities and potential that he was able to put his team on his back and almost single-handedly bring them back from a 25-point deficit. He just looked unstoppable in that quarter and he just shrugged off anyone in front of him. Unfortunately, he ran out of gas in the fourth but it really showed how good he is and how good he’ll be for NU in the future.
- Forcing live turnovers was the story of the game. Adamson built its huge lead by repeatedly intercepting passes and straight up swiping the rock from ballhandlers and getting easy transition opportunities on the other end. They took full advantage of NU’s lazy passing and unorganized halfcourt sets. In effect, the Bulldogs had just 9 field goals made versus 14 turnovers in the first half. They managed to turn the tables in the third period where they cut the lead down to as low as 7. They pretty much did the same thing. They trapped and bothered ballhandlers and forced bad passes to generate some easy points. They forced Adamson into 9 TOs versus just 4 FGM. Again, it almost worked but the lead was just too big to overcome.
- NU’s issues at the point guard spot are still present and probably the biggest reason why they came away with the L. Whether it was Enzo Joson, Rev Diputado, JV Gallego or John Galinato, the team looked lost in the halfcourt and everything was executed poorly. It looked like they didn’t even know what they were doing half the time. The one time they looked like an organized unit was when Ildefonso took the reigns and created with purpose and aggression, It may not be sustainable, but Jamike Jarin might have to think long and hard about making Ildefonso his pseudo point.
- One other positive thing NU did was crash the boards. They rebounded 40% of their misses and scored 14 second chance points. They managed to do it consistently throughout the game and helped them to trim the lead down in that third period. Hence, they were +11 in attempts.