By Aljo Dolores
Adamson Soaring Falcons def. NU Bulldogs, 84-83
Lenda Douanga (26 points, 19 rebounds, 12 offensive rebounds, game-winner in OT)
My, oh my, oh my. Where would Adamson be without Lenda Douanga? Despite showing signs of his raw and unrefined play, Douanga carried his team with almost a 20-20 performance. He did an excellent job in creating second-chance shots for his team. Even with a shaky finish around the rim, he still led all Falcons in scoring by a mile. On top of that, he won the game with a buzzer-beating three-pointer. It’s scary to think that this guy pulled off such a performance and he has not reached his peak form yet.
Val Chauca (13 points, 3/7 3PT)
While it’s true that Douanga had the privilege to do walk off, Adamson would not be in a position to do so without Val Chauca’s heroic play. He put up timely baskets, including that turnaround tripl in regulation, to keep the Falcons within striking distance
Dave Ildefonso (29 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals)
NU’s debut game is a clear indication that Dave Ildefonso is making a run for the MVP title this season. The sophomore raised not just the roof, but also the floor and the ceiling of his play. He didn’t need to be the floor general for the Bulldogs, so he was able to focus on being the best player on the floor. He led all scorers with 29 big points hinged on efficient shooting within the two-point area (9/11). He knocked down one big shot after another, including the layup that put NU up by two with three seconds left in OT. If not for Douanga’s last-second triple, Ildefonso could’ve gone home with the game-winner. Not to mention he led NU in rebounds and steals. That’s some monster performance right there.
- Thanks to Chino Mosqueda, the Bulldogs won’t have to live and die with lineups without a legitimate point guard anymore. With a playmaker on the floor, NU’s offense looked more fluid to start the season compared to last year.
- As expected, Jerom Lastimosa and Simon Camacho had expanded roles on offense. They scored a combined 24 points for the Falcons. This will be a normal thing for Adamson as the season progresses.
- Has anyone seen Jerrick Ahanmisi? Adamson’s top scorer and best shooter just last season is still noticeably MIA. After scoring only seven points and one triple in the first game, Ahanmisi turned to Houdini once more with another dismal performance. He scored only 10 points in the game. No triples converted. No buckets made in the second half and the overtime. It’s not only the misses. He was lacking the aggressiveness to attack the defense. That’s unforgivable given that he should be the primary option on offense for the Falcons this year. He (at least who he was last year) just vanished in thin air, without a trace of the brilliance he once showed. So, if you see Ahanmisi, please return him at 900 San Marcelino St., Ermita, Manila.
- One thing NU needs to work on is free throws. The bulldogs missed 14 of their 31 attempts. Imagine, if they have made just one more, then the game wouldn’t even have gone to OT. Out of the bunch, Shaun Ildefonso and Chino Mosqueda would probably need to address the problem a little sooner as they combined for 20% at the charity.