ADAMSON hurdled the first of a tough two-game swing this week with a 64-51 win over National University to seize solo second place in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“It’s a tiring one, but slowly, we are showing a little bit of maturity and character,” said coach Franz Pumaren after the Falcons claimed their third win in four starts.
Up next for Adamson is a mouth-watering match-up with La Salle, the school that Pumaren gave five championships, on Saturday.
Earlier, University of the Philippines rode on a strong finish to prevail over University of the East, 75-71, in a duel of winless teams.
The Bulldogs last led, 48-47, when reserve Christian Bernardo scored seven of the Falcons’ next nine points to give his team a 53-49 advantage, with 2:34 remaining.
“Bernardo was the game-changer. He made me look good out there,” said Pumaren, who was under the weather in the past couple of days.
Papi Sarr played big for Adamson with 13 points and 17 rebounds.
“I just defend, and points will just come naturally,” said Sarr.
After winning the first two matches, NU has lost two straight, dropping in a four-way logjam with defending champion Far Eastern University, Ateneo and University of Santo Tomas from third to sixth places.
Jarrell Lim hit a go-ahead triple to put the Fighting Maroons ahead, 69-67, in the final 1:54 which sparked the Diliman-based cagers’ 9-2 salvo.
It was Bo Perasol’s first win as UP coach after opening the season with three consecutive losses.
“It’s a cliché but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. This is some kind of light for us. It’s a proof and evidence that we can win games against a tough team like UE. I hope we can capitalize on this,” said Perasol.
Paul Desiderio and Jett Manuel sharing the scoring mantle for the Maroons with 17 points apiece. Desiderio also pulled down 10 rebounds.
In the women’s division, Khate Castillo shot 20 points as La Salle bested UST, 77-67, for its third win in four outings, while Ateneo, with Hazelle Yam and Jonette Uy De Ong combining for 28 points, outlasted FEU, 60-56, to even its record at 2-2.
UP (75) – Manuel 17, Desiderio 17, Moralde 13, Gomez de Liano 7, Dario 7, Lim 5, Harris 4, Prado 2, Lao 2, Romero 0, Asilum 0, Webb 0, Longa 0.
UE (71) – Olayon 15, Batiller 14, Abanto 11, Derige 9, Palma 9, Manalang 7, Charcos 4, Pasaol 2, Varilla 0, Bartolome 0, Gagate 0, Acuno 0, Penuela 0, De Leon 0, Larupay 0.
Quarterscores: 16-19, 34-37, 57-58, 75-71
AdU (64) – Sarr 13, Tungcab 11, Manganti 9, Ahanmisi 8, Bernardo 7, Mustre 5, Espeleta 4, Ochea 3, Manalang 2, Camacho 2, Pasturan 0, Ng 0, Paranada 0, Chua 0.
NU (51) – Aroga 17, Salem 9, Salim 7, Mosqueda 4, Morido 4, Diputado C 3, Pate 3, Gallego 2, Sinclair 2, Alejandro 0, Diputado R 0, Abatayo 0, Aquino 0, Rangel 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 17-13, 29-28, 42-40, 64-51