UP Fighting Maroons def. Adamson Soaring Falcons, 81-77
Kobe Paras, UP (21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks)
Kobe did a little bit of everything for UP in this game. He was the main scorer specially at times when the offense seems to stall, he chased after 50/50 balls, and added an extra layer of rim protection specially when Bright Akhuetie was on the bench.
Jun Manzo, UP (17 points, 3/5 3FG, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal)
Jun Manzo stepped up when UP was making their run back in the fourth. He was tasked to deny the ball when UP was pressing, and hit the shots that gave UP life. He was also rebounding, as the bigs tried to box out.
Val Chauca, AdU (19 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists)
Val Chauca was the reason why Adamson led in the first quarter, at one point tying the production of the whole UP team. He went cold as the game went on, and Adamson did him no favors by not getting him open.
Simon Camacho, AdU (11 points, 5/9 FG, 7 rebounds, 2 assists)
Simon Camacho proved to be pivotal in the third quarter, as he filled the lanes properly at the break. He was on position to score when he got the ball, and was the reason why Adamson pulled away heading into the fourth quarter.
- Adamson came out of the gate with guns blazing, as Val Chauca tied the whole of UP’s output at 11 points. The fighting Maroons had some stretches of scoring but Adamson managed to hold them off by taking the offensive rebounds, as well as stifling the UP shooters with defense.
- The Fighting Maroons managed to keep it close to end the half through a mixture of exploiting Adamson’s misgivings on defense, as well as well timely shots by Jun Manzo and Juan Gomez de Liano. At this point, leaving them open is a huge mortal sin.
- Simon Camacho came alive in the third quarter, delivering the goods that he used to bring last season. Adamson found the holes in UP’s transition defense, delivering well-timed bullet passes to the Adamson team captain for easy layups. This also relieved Chauca who had the law of averages catch up to him.
- UP displayed BRILLIANT defense in the fourth, simply choking these Falcons into submission. Because of their defense, their players who were in slumps like Juan GDL and Ricci Rivero came to life. Ultimately, Jun Manzo finished the job for the Fighting Maroons.
- Adamson seems to have lost all their plays from last season that frees up their shooters. Making Ahanmisi or Chauca curl and use the picks can give them space to shoot. There were none of those in this game. The shooters had to bleed for points.
- UP looks like it’s coming together for them just in time for the Final Four. While they are still the diesel team who starts slow, they seem to have more purpose in movement. It’s fun to watch these Fighting Maroons when everything seems to click.