(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – Adamson vs La Salle
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs UE
The Adamson Falcons survived the first phase of a difficult week last night, thanks to an unlikely hero.
Backup center Kristian Bernardo scored all of his seven points in the fourth quarter as the Falcons frustrated National University, 64-51, to gain solo second spot in UAAP basketball at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The second year player stepped up after Cameroonian import Papi Sarr spent most of the payoff period on the bench with four personal fouls, making the key baskets when it mattered most.
Rookie guard Jerrick Ahanmisi shook off his worst game of the season as he and Sean Manganti hit the telling shots in the dying minutes for the Falcons, who are off to their best start since a similar 3-1 record to open the 2011 season.
“It’s a tiring one. I guess slowly we’re showing a little bit of maturity and character,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren. “I think the bench really contributed well, I guess Bernardo made me really look good by putting him there and he was a game changer.”
Adamson has been finding immediate success in Pumaren’s first season as coach. But the Falcons’ resolve will be tested further on Saturday as they take on Pumaren’s alma mater and former team in the unbeaten La Salle Green Archers.
Sarr finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds while JD Tungcab added 11. Ahanmisi scored six of his eight points in the fourth whilem Rob Manalang was held to two points after firing 15 in Saturday’s thrilling 62-61 victory over Ateneo.