MANILA, Philippines – The Adamson Soaring Falcons showed no signs of slowing down in their UAAP Season 84 second-round resurgence as they blew out the hapless UST Growling Tigers, 80-69, to streak to their fourth straight victory on Saturday, April 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Once holders of a lousy 1-6 record, the Nash Racela-led squad is now momentarily in the Final Four picture with a 5-6 slate over 4-6 teams NU and FEU, while the freefalling Tigers move closer to elimination at 3-8 in seventh place.
Jerom Lastimosa continued his near-unstoppable run in the second round as he finished with a game-high 24 points in just 23 minutes on an elite 8-of-9 clip plus 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Forward Vince Magbuhos scored 12 with 8 boards while foreign student-athlete Lenda Douanga added 9 points and 5 rebounds in just 8 minutes as he continues to recover from a lower leg injury.
Coming off a competitive first half, UST seemingly ran out of ammo too quickly as Adamson shot back with a 20-4 salvo to start the third quarter, capped by a swooping Lastimosa putback off a Cedrick Manzano miss at the 2:35 mark for the 61-44 gap.
The Falcons never looked back from there as a Ricky Peromingan triple capped the team’s separation at 23, 77-54, midway through the final frame.
Joshua Fontanilla carried UST once again with a team-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the free-throw line, while sniper Sherwin Concepcion was held to 4 points on a frigid 1-of-13 clip, albeit with 11 rebounds to make up for the shooting woes.
Despite the win, Falcons head coach Nash Racela was actually critical of his team with what he perceived was a lack of respect for the Tigers’ efforts.
“I needed to call them out. I thought that in their minds they can win by not respecting, and it showed that UST is a tough team. You don’t play them without respect. They will eat you up,” he said in Filipino after the game.
Adamson’s inspired run will now be put to the ultimate test as the undefeated Ateneo Blue Eagles dynasty awaits next on Tuesday, April 26, 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, UST can breathe new life to its stagnant campaign with a win against the reeling NU Bulldogs at the 7 pm nightcap.
Adamson 80 – Lastimosa 24, Magbuhos 11, Douanga 9, Sabandal 8, Manzano 8, Zaldivar 8, Peromingan 8, Yerro 2, Colonia 2, Hanapi 0, Jaymalin 0, Calisay 0, Fuentebella 0, Erolon 0, Barasi 0, Maata 0.
UST 69 – Fontanilla 23, Cabanero 13, Manalang 11, Santos 5, Concepcion 4, Gesalem 3, Manaytay 3, Garing 3, Ando 2, Herrera 2, Pangilinan 0, Yongco 0, Canoy 0.
Quarters: 22-21, 41-40, 66-52, 80-69.