Adamson Soaring Falcons def. UP Fighting Maroons, 80-72
Jerrick Ahanmisi, Adamson (24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists)
He is clearly the alpha player for the Adamson Soaring Falcons. When you have an opponent changing starters just to cover you on defense, you know you are a threat. The third-year player waxed hot in the third quarter, shooting a perfect 7/7 from the field. He had a less than stellar fourth quarter but managed to get some points off a shooting foul. He is in the conversation of one of the best pure scorers in the league, and may even be a shoo-in for the Mythical Five.
Jerom Lastimosa, Adamson (14 points, 4 assists, 3 steals)
With Espeleta not playing due to a bout with Dengue, Lastimosa filled the role perfectly by being the energizer for Coach Franz Pumaren’s wards. He was active on both ends of the floor: scoring, passing, and sealing passing lanes. The Fighting Maroons had no answer for him, as he outmatched UP’s guards in size and speed.
Sean Manganti, Adamson (10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists)
This man really loves playing against the UP Fighting Maroons. Manganti decided to step up when UP was nipping at their heels, draining a long bomb that sucked the life out of the Maroon crowd.
Bright Akhuetie, UP (24 points, 15 rebounds, 4 steals)
The Nigerian big man unloaded 11 points in the fourth quarter when UP erased a 19 point lead to bring it down to 4. Because of Papi Sarr sitting at the bench due to foul trouble, Akhuetie carved space in the paint using his size and footwork to get some much-needed points.
Juan Gomez de Liano, UP (15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists)
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, the younger GDL churned out a steady five points per quarter, including a three to bring UP closer. The former Rookie of the Year made good decisions, knowing when to pass and when to score.
- The game started out slow when Adamson’s and UP’s shots were not falling. It was also a fiesta of turnovers, a result of poor ball handling and pressing defense.
- Adamson pulled away in the third quarter, unloading a relentless 33-point barrage that saw the Fighting Maroons down by 19 at the end. The Soaring Falcons were unstoppable with their patented full court press. They also transitioned well with their half-court defense, denying UP’s bread and butter of drop passes and drive and kicks.
- UP showed its fightback by answering with a run of their own, unloading a 15-0 run that was only halted by free throws. Speaking of which…
- The Fighting Maroons should break their bad habit of jumping forward when contesting a jump shot. UP gave up four fouls wherein they fouled a shooter attempting a three. This robs them of any momentum they built and breaks rule number one of fouling: NEVER FOUL A JUMP SHOOTER.
- Adamson solidifies their claim to one of the top two spots for the offseason, while UP is in danger of missing the Final Four bus yet again. UP is in a must-win situation for their next four games if they want to see their first Final Four appearance since 1997.