MANILA, Philippines – No heartbreaking game-winner needed, but Adamson still had to endure a bit of a scare.
The Adamson Soaring Falcons held off the UP Fighting Maroons’ blistering late run, 80-72, to clinch their eighth win in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Sunday, October 28.
The game tested Adamson as UP stormed all the way back with a massive 24-2 run that sliced a whopping 26-point gap, 67-41, to just 4 points, 69-65.
Sean Manganti help put things back in order in the final stretch for the Falcons, who kept their hold of the 2nd spot (8-2) behind defending champion Ateneo (9-2).
Jerrick Ahanmisi collected 24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists for the Falcons, who also downed the Maroons in the first round on a Manganti buzzer-beater.
“Down the stretch, we have to rely on key players, we have to rely on veterans,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren.
“I guess it shows here that what’s important is the leadership qualities of our veterans, in spite of the run that UP made, we were able to weather it. We didn’t panic, we stayed within the course.”
UP slid to a fifth-place tie with FEU (5-6) as UST (5-5) moved up to fourth behind La Salle (6-4).
Sloppy UP defense enabled Ahanmisi to pile on the lead with back-to-back threes, 52-35 at the 5:20 mark of the 3rd.
The Falcons then extended their advantage to as high as 26 points, 67-41, highlighted by a four-point play by speedy rookie Jerom Lastimosa.
Adamson 80 – Ahanmisi 24, Lastimosa 14, Sarr 12, Manganti 10, Catapusan 5, V. Magbuhos 4, Pingoy 3, Camacho 3, Mojica 3, Bernardo 2, Zaldivar 0.
UP 72 – Akhuetie 24, Ju. Gomez de Liano 15, Desiderio 13, Manzo 8, Ja. Gomez de Liano 5, Vito 5, Jaboneta 2, Lim 0, Dario 0, Prado 0, Gozum 0.
Quarters: 12-12, 34-26, 67-48, 80-72.
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