Forget about the much-celebrated rivalry between Ateneo and La Salle. There is a new and even greater one in town: between (excellence in execution) the UP Fighting Maroons and (excellence in determination) the Adamson Soaring Falcons.

It is not that often that there are still two winless teams at this juncture of the season. And now that they are about to cross paths, most of us cannot help but think how this game would shape up. Would it be a perfect symphony or a would it be a chaotic collision? Either way, we are all excited to witness this affair, aren’t we?

For UP, more than just barging into the win column this Season 77, this game is about breaking this lengthy victory drought in UAAP which now stands at 27 games/719 days. And this could be the most feasible opportunity for them to achieve that as they’ll face a greenhorn-loaded Adamson squad, which are putting up an uninspiring display this season, highlighted by that infamous record-setting performance against NU.

Adamson vs NU match scenes. Photo by Mark Cristino

Don Trollano will lead the Adamson Falcons in their quest to  leave UP alone at the rock bottom of team standings.

UP and Adamson are currently sitting side by side (holding hands) at the bottom of team standings. But at the end of this game, one will finally register a W while the other will finish the first round without a victory under their belt. The best days of the winner in this match will be some of the worst for the defeated. Because when a game of this grand proportions breaks, it surely doesn’t break even.

Tale of the Tape

UP Stats (League Rank) Adamson

0-6 (T-7th)

Win-Loss 0-6 (T-7th)

78.2 (7th)

Offensive Rating 66.4 (8th)

99.3 (8th)

Defensive Rating 94.5 (7th)

24.4 (8th)

ORB% 31.8 (7th)

59.2 (8th)

DRB% 63.3 (7th)

39.9 (8th)

TRB% 47.7 (7th)

17.5 (2nd)

TOV% 23.0 (7th)

13.1 (7th)

FTR 24.0 (2nd)

41.9 (7th)

TS% 37.1 (8th)

12.7 (7th)

Opp TO Pts 14.4 (8th)

6.7 (8th)

Opp FB Pts 6.4 (7th)

Keys to the Game


Adamson currently makes the least number of three-pointers per contest, only three. Also, they have a low conversion rate from that area, at 21.7%. Only La Salle, who just tormented the Fighting Maroons previously, had a lower 3pT% than them. UP needs to capitalize on this Adamson three-point woes. They should entertain the idea of just allowing the Falcons to take three-pointers, instead of letting their offense to take place inside. The usual 2-3 zone defense by UP might be enough to entice Adamson to chuck those long bombs. UP need not to worry about their “shooters” as none of them had converted more than four three-pointers for the entire season.


This season, UP has been among the teams who do not go to the charity stripe that much (13.1% free throw rate). On the other hand, Adamson is on the upper echelon with 24.0%, second best in the league behind Ateneo. The tale of free throws should be taken account as it might dictate the outcome of this game.


With a weak Adamson defense (as compared to the first six opponents and as the statistics suggest), offense might not come that hard for UP. It won’t be surprising if Kyles Lao and/or Dave Moralde (UP’s two best options) will have great production on offense. The question now is which among other guys would step up. Would it be JR Gallarza (who has become a legitimate three-point threat this season), Mikee Reyes (who can really be a good guard should he lessen his madness), or Mark Juruena (who has been very reluctant to shoot this season)?


This will be UP’s 21st game since I started writing for the team in this site. I’m all already running out of ideas on how to narrate another UP loss. For my sanity, I’m asking all basketball gods to give this day to the Fighting Maroons.

I don’t see Adamson beating UP, unless coach Kenneth Duremdes suits up for them. This shall be the day, UP. This shall be the day.