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Falcons uncork late-game rally to steal game from Growling Tigers

The Adamson Soaring Falcons closed out with a blistering 16-0 run to complete a 78-71 comeback win over the UST Growling Tigers in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Down by as many as 13 points to start the fourth quarter, the Falcons held the Tigers scoreless in the last three minutes to steal the victory.

Adamson and UST are now tied for third place with identical 3-2 records, behind league leaders Ateneo (4-0) and UP (3-1).

"We needed this win. You all know what happened to us the last game," ADU coach Franz Pumaren said, referring to their overtime loss to the Fighting Maroons last Sunday. "We just cannot relax at the end of the game. I think we played kind of tentative. We needed this game to boost our confidence back."

Val Chauca came up with the biggest plays down the stretch, including a personal 7-0 outburst that put Adamson ahead, 72-71, in the final minute. He finished with 18 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.

"We got a big lift from Val. That's why he's here," Pumaren said about his one-and-done player. "He's here to guide this young team. As you all know, we're still composed of young guys."

Jerom Lastimosa started the late surge with a 3-point shot at the 2:08 mark. Jerrick Ahanmisi also showed up in the clutch, hitting a fastbreak layup off a pass from Lastimosa to make it 74-71 with 39.3 seconds left. Ahanmisi and Lastimosa sealed the deal with two free throws each.

Ahanmisi topped for the Falcons with 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting alongside, four rebounds, and three assists.

"I think during the last three minutes, four minutes, some of the spectators were thinking we're just going to collapse. But I guess the players just dug inside them. All heart on their part," said Pumaren. "They didn't want to lose this game because if the turnout will be different from today's game, it's going to be hard for us to recover. But this one will boost us and make us better down the stretch."

Soulemane Chabi Yo paced the Tigers in the loss with a 17-point, 15-rebound output. CJ Cansino, Sherwin Concepcion, and Mark Nonoy added 10 points apiece.

THE SCORES

ADAMSON 78 - Ahanmisi 24, Chauca 18, Douanga 9, Fermin 7, Lastimosa 6, Mojica 5, Magbuhos 4, Camacho 3, Manlapaz 2, Bernardo 0, Flowers 0, Yerro 0, Zaldivar 0

UST 71 - Chabi Yo 17, Cansino 10, Concepcion 10, Nonoy 10, Abando 9, Subido 6, Huang 4, Paraiso 3, Pangilinan 2, Ando 0, Caunan 0, Cuajao 0

QUARTER SCORES: 19-15, 33-38, 48-58, 78-71

EXTRA DRIBBLES

- Val Chauca scored 11 of his 18 points in the final quarter, while Jerrick Ahanmisi scored 15 of his 24 in the opening quarter.

- The Tigers won the rebounding battle, 51-45, including a 17-10 advantage in offensive boards. Soulemane Chabi Yo and Sherwin Concepcion led with 15 and nine rebounds, respectively.

NEXT GAMES

ADU - September 21 (Saturday) vs DLSU at Ynares Center, Antipolo

UST - September 22 (Sunday) vs FEU at Ynares Center, Antipolo