Adamson Soaring Falcons def UE Red Warriors 90-72
Jerrick Ahanmisi (17 points, 13 points in the 2nd quarter, 3/6 3 point FG)
As the new team scoring leader, Ahanmisi is the guy the Soaring Falcons will be looking for to score during droughts, and that’s exactly what he did in this game. With UE closing the gap and eventually taking the lead in the 2nd quarter, Jerrick Ahanmisi took over the game and put on a spectacular scoring display en route to 13 points in that quarter alone. His ability to score from the catch, off the curl and even off the dribble fueled the Falcons to a late surge to recapture the lead heading into halftime. It was certainly refreshing to see an aggressive scoring Ahanmisi but his value and contribution to the team lie in his character as a team player, willing to step aside when the hot hand has passed on to another teammate.
Sean Manganti (27 points, 22 second-half points, 3/8 3point FG, 18.67 minutes, 1 slam dunk)
By adding a reliable three-point shot to his arsenal, Sean Manganti has transformed himself into an even more potent weapon for the Soaring Falcons. His length, quickness, and athleticism were already a lot for opposing teams to handle before, but now UE just became the first to witness how unguardable he becomes when he gets his shooting stroke going. His willingness to take coupled with the ability to make threes creates a gravity around him forcing the defense to guard him outside the paint opening up the area around the basket for him to drive or for his teammates to punish the post area. The scoring exhibition he and Alvin Pasaol went on in the 3rd quarter was a thing of beauty to watch, but unfortunately for Air Sambo, Sean Mangantikoumpo had a lot of help from his teammates.
Papi Sarr (15 points, 21 rebounds, 13 offensive rebounds)
Papi Sarr carries a lot of weight on his shoulders this season for the Soaring Falcons as their main post presence. Against UE, Sarr was the most consistent scorer for the Falcons having made at least one field goal every quarter. The best part of his game was his willingness to work and work hard, against a team he knew he had an advantage over. His 15 points came off his effort to pull down 13 offensive rebounds and his readiness to score whenever the ball came to him. Unlike in seasons past, Sarr has cut down on forcing the issue down low and allowed his teammates to work the offense in order to get him his opportunities. While the results haven’t been stellar just yet as he shot 5 of 11 from the field, his 21 rebounds are the biggest takeaway from his effort in this game. If he continues to be this kind of a post and rebounding threat for the rest of the season, the Falcons will be a tough team to beat.
Alvin Pasaol (36 points, 25 second half points, 11 rebounds)
Alvin Pasaol is a person who, when he wants something, will not take no for an answer. Unfortunately for Alvin, he was the only one among the UE Red Warriors who had the ability to take what he wanted. Despite being constantly crowded and out-manned, some way some how Alvin persistently found ways to score. It wasn’t even because of hot shooting because he hit only 1 of 9 from beyond the arc. Pasaol was banging bodies with Sarr, Manganti, Magbuhos, Camacho and anyone and everyone Adamson threw at him. Stopping him was not possible in the second half.
But basketball is a team game, and one person scoring a ton of points does not guarantee a win.
- Adamson was content to let UE burn themselves out. Out of UE’s lineup, only Alvin Pasaol and Jason Strait scored in double digits while 5 players were scoreless. Meanwhile, Sean Manganti, Jerrick Ahanmisi, and Papi Sarr shared the scoring load with more than 10 each. 10 players from the Falcons scored at least 2 points. With Alvin Pasaol as the only viable option for UE, Adamson’s own scorers simply out-lasted the opposition.
- If the first game against Ateneo was a display of Adamson’s extreme defensive prowess, this game against UE was an offensive onslaught. Adamson’s defense didn’t do much to stop UE from scoring, allowing the Warriors to shoot 42.42% from the field, which is higher than the Falcons typically allow. UE recorded a 93.55 offensive rating a decent 81.24 pace. These are good numbers for a UAAP team. But Adamson’s were simply much better. The Falcons out up an efficient 110.79 offensive rating while using only 79.39 possessions as compared to UE’s 83.08.
- Freethrows are free, it’s on the word itself. Missing them hurts at any level, and missing them especially hurt UE in this game. From the start of the game, UE was all out on effort, practically outworking Adamson at every corner, constantly attacking the rim and grabbing every rebound they could. Through their efforts, they were able to reach the freethrow line more times than Adamson. Unfortunately, they missed, a lot. Had UE made all the freethrows they missed, the game would have been tied. The Red Warriors missed a total of 14 freethrows while the Falcons missed 8. This meant that despite getting to the line 7 more times than the Falcons, the Falcons still had one more point off freethrows than the Warriors.
- The failure to capitalize on freethrows is reflective of the overall development of UE’s roster. The sight of Philip Manalang goose egging three straight freethrow attempts is a clear sign of growing pains for a young team. They’re raw, inexperienced and have their butts handed to them by a hungry, determined team that wants to prove they deserve to be in every conversation for the championship. And that’s okay. UE’s head coach Joe Silva definitely knows a thing or two about developing talent from all his years successfully coaching at the high school level. With Alvin Pasaol and Jason Stait as possible centerpieces for the Warriors to build around, Coach Silva has to bring his A-game in being patient with his young wards while trying to wring every ounce of basketball talent out of them.
- The Soaring Falcons are announcing their status as contenders for the championship early in the season with two early wins. The core of the team has matured to a point where there’s a sense of calmness in their play. This allowed them to absorb UE’s restless energy, picking their battles and playing it smart, continuing to play their game. Even coach Franz Pumaren noticed that his wards were at times too relaxed. They have come a long way from “the team that could” in Season 79. Even their rookies have fit into the system so quickly, possibly due to their stint playing against professionals in the D-League, with Jerom Lastimosa becoming their assistant leader in the absence of floor general Jerie Pingoy.
Both teams played to their strengths, UE exerted as much effort as they humanly could, but their rawness ultimately cost them the game. Adamson showed poise and awareness, knowing what their was, who they were, what they were capable of and not panicking at the first sign of adversity. Knowing that UE is under good leadership should be encouraging for Warriors fans as what they are going through now is normal and expected. Struggling is hard, but struggling is necessary before you can soar.