Not even a slow start could derail the Adamson Falcons from adding another victory to their win column. On Saturday, the Final Four-bound Falcons got their 10th win of the season after defeating the UE Red Warriors, 85-72, at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Falcons played out of character and faced a 20-3 deficit in the early goings of the first quarter. They were sleep-walking against the team that owned the worst record and were in danger of a stunning upset. They finally woke up midway through the period and responded with an 18-0 blast to end the first. But it was still a bad start that was not at par with the standards of coach Franz Pumaren.
"Sometimes, you have a flat start thinking that the other team would just roll over," lamented Pumaren. "Good thing we were able to regroup. I had to say sweet nothings to them during halftime."
Pumaren's motivational "sweet nothings" did the trick for Adamson. In the game of runs, the Falcons got the most decisive one late in the third period. They unloaded a 12-0 bomb while nailing the Red Warriors to just 59 points for nearly six minutes across the last two quarters. That proved to be the difference as the Falcons pulled away in the fourth.
"The way we were putting pressure on them, we were able to make stops. We showed the Adamson way of playing defense," said Pumaren.
Jerrick Ahanmisi had an efficient 23 points, going 9-for-16 from the field. Sean Manganti provided 19 points while Papi Sarr did his damage on the glass with 24 rebounds.
For UE, Alvin Pasaol led the way with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. The potent scorer had help from Philip Manalang's 19 points and from Lucas Cullar's 12.
The Falcons have won back-to-back games and are on pace to claiming a twice-to-beat advantage, boasting a 10-3 record. They can already claim the incentive if the Ateneo Blue Eagles win over the De La Salle Green Archers on Sunday or if they win their next game versus the FEU Tamaraws.
On the other hand, the Red Warriors are looking to end their season on a positive note when they take on the NU Bulldogs next Sunday.
ADAMSON 85 - Ahanmisi 23, Manganti 19, Lastimosa 10, Sarr 9, Camacho 7, Catapusan 6, Pingoy 5, Espeleta 4, Zaldivar 2, Mojica 0, Magbuhos 0, Bernardo 0, Colonia 0
UE 72 - Pasaol 24, Manalang 19, Cullar 12, Bartolome 8, Gallardo 5, Varilla 4, Strait 0, Antiporda 0, Beltran 0, Conner 0, Gagate 0
QUARTER SCORES: 21-24, 40-40, 65-59, 85-72
- The Falcons got a ton of support from across their roster, outscoring the Red Warriors, 29-4 in bench points.
- Despite having a total of four deadlocks and five lead changes in the game, both teams held a lead of at least 15 points.
ADU - Nov. 18 (Sun) vs FEU Tamaraws at Mall of Asia Arena
UE - Nov. 18 (Sun) vs NU Bulldogs at Mall of Asia Arena