Ateneo beats Adamson for 1st Season 76 win

Levi Verora
Ateneo de Manila University scored its first win in UAAP Season 76 after beating Adamson University.

BACK IN ACTION. Ravena returned after missing 2 games. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

MANILA, Philippines — Reserve slotman JP Erram energized a huge surge in the second half as Ateneo de Manila University finally broke in to the win column after crushing Adamson University, 71-59, in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament Sunday, July 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The 6-foot-7 beanpole scored 10 of his season-high 12 points in the 3rd period, as the Blue Eagles pulled away from a tight game to finally score its breakthrough win in the tournament.

“The challenge was to sustain energy and focus in the last two quarters,” said coach Bo Perasol. “I made sure that the bench is able to deliver. Eventually, we won.”

Erram conspired with skipper Juami Tiongson as the 5-peat champions avoided any late-game meltdown and dodge several comeback attempts from the Soaring Falcons.

“More than anything else, this is a relief,” said Perasol. “If you keep on losing, it’s kind of trying to challenge your confidence.”

Back and forth

Rookie Axel Inigo gave Adamson a 19-13 lead early in the second quarter before Ryan Buenafe’s pair of triples catalyzed an Ateneo rally that placed them ahead, 32-28, at the break.

The back and forth continued in the 3rd period as Jericho Cruz and Roider Cabrera delivered baskets to keep the Falcons within striking distance.

But Erram and Tiongson connived to close the quarter on a 10-3 then continued pounding Adamson with shot after shot to build a 70-55 edge late in the match.

Simply outclassed

Ingrid Sewa, who injured his shoulder in the first quarter, and Rodney Brondial struggled to find their groove, getting limited to just 12 points in 54 minutes combined as the Eagles’ big men shone bright.

On the other hand, Erram had 12 points and 12 rebounds while Frank Golla also delivered 6 markers while making sure that Sewa and Brondial won’t impact the game.

Ateneo crashed the boards this time and won the rebounding battle, 49-37, and ran Adamson to the ground with 11 fastbreak points.

After notching his first win, Perasol stressed the importance of finally ending the slump.

“The criticisms I’ve received in the past week were more than what I’ve received in my entire career,” he said. “This is the fruit of what we’ve been doing in practice.”

Tiongson led the Katipunan crew with 15 points and 8 rebounds while Ryan Buenafe pulled of a near triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists.

Kiefer Ravena played in his first game since June 30 and had 4 points.

The loss sent the Falcons into a tie for 4th spot with a 2-2 record joining De La Salle University.

Jericho Cruz and Roider Cabrera carried the San Marcelino 5 with 21 and 14 points, respectively, but combined for an atrocious 6-for-23 from downtown. –

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