Adamson clinched a third straight Final Four berth Wednesday after a 96-83 victory over UST but the Soaring Falcons refused to celebrate this milestone.
This marks the first time that the Falcons reached the semifinals three years in a row. The last two seasons saw them entering the playoffs with a twice-to-win disadvantage. Both times, they were booted out by the higher-seeded La Salle Green Archers in one game.
"It feels good but we've done it already twice and that's not our goal. We got a higher goal than that, so the job's not done," said veteran Sean Manganti.
This year, head coach Franz Pumaren and his squad are targeting a higher goal of barging into the finals, which the school last accomplished 26 years ago.
To inch closer to achieving the feat, they are hoping to arm themselves with a twice-to-beat bonus at the end of the elimination round.
"We're almost there and we're aiming for that. I'll be a hypocrite if I tell you that we're happy entering the Final Four. We want to get that particular incentive," said Pumaren.
Adamson, which needs one more win to notch at least a playoff for a top two slot, has showcased its top-notch defense and balanced offense throughout the season.
The team's collective effort was on full display against the Growling Tigers as five players scored in double digits. Manganti topped with 22 points, followed by Simon Camacho's career-high outing of 15 markers. Jerrick Ahanmisi delivered 13 points, while Papi Sarr and Jerom Lastimosa combined for 21.
"For us to be really successful this year, it should be a collective effort," explained Pumaren. "No individual player can carry us, whether you're scoring or not, you do your own part, you defend, you get those 50-50 balls."
"It's an effort on the part of our team," the coach continued. "One player cannot lift this team, it's supposed to be a team effort."
As they head into their remaining battles against UE and FEU, the Falcons aim to work harder and address their errors while keeping their eyes on the prize.
"Our goal is the finals," stressed Manganti. "We're a way better team than last year. That's a given already. But we still have some lapses, we're not too consistent, and we're still in the process of fixing it right now."
"(Reaching the Final Four) is obviously something that we wanted to do but it's not the team's goal this year," added Ahanmisi. "We're just gonna keep moving on and keep looking forward to the next games."