Franz Pumaren on Adamson’s 73-71 thriller over UP: 'No easy games'
MANILA, Philippines – 71 points, 3 wins, 2 losses.
Up until the final 15 seconds of the game, the Adamson Soaring Falcons and UP Fighting Maroons were in extremely similar situations. One month of jockeying for position in the UAAP Season 80 standings all boiled down to one last possession for the Falcons.
Jerrick Ahanmisi ran the clock for the final play. He had been hot all game long, so it was logical that he’d control the final possession. Falcon shooters lay in wait for the pass, but Ahanmisi drove inside and missed. Three seconds. Papi Sarr collected his 16th rebound and went for the putback but the ball only kissed the rim. Maroons double-teamed Sarr, leaving Sean Maganti wide open underneath.
73-71. 1.4 seconds.
It just had to be the very same score that UP saw in their first game against UST. Down by 2, 73-71, UP captain Paul Desiderio pulled up for three and buried the Tigers for their first win. Adamson knew the play all too well and did not let it happen on their watch. The play turned to prey as the Falcons swooped down on Desiderio and intercepted the inbound pass, ending the game.
After being down earlier point by 14 points, Adamson soared all the way back to snatch their third straight victory. Meanwhile, UP suffered their second straight loss and fell to 5th place, just above their Sunday opponents, the 2-4 NU Bulldogs.
Coach Franz Pumaren finally breathed a sigh of relief in the press room, as he praised his team’s mettle in pressure situations albeit also criticizing their flat start to the game. Regarding the final play, Pumaren confirmed that they indeed knew the Maroon’s last move on offense. “We anticipated that Desiderio would get the ball because we all know he’s the key guy,” said Pumaren. “He made crucial baskets so we made sure that we put bodies on him.”
When asked about the adjustments Adamson made going into halftime, the coach joked, “Yung mga sinabi ko nung halftime, malamang censored” (“The things I said at halftime were obviously censored”) – implying that the Falcons probably received a tongue-lashing despite a 27-point second quarter.
“The way I look at, there are no easy games coming up,” he added. “We were too relaxed. Probably after watching FEU demolish UP, they thought that UP will just go through the motion and give us the victory. Since the last two days, I’ve been thinking that they would bounce back really strong.”
“[The] consolation here is we survived it,” he concluded. –Rappler.com
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