Adamson rediscovered its groove yesterday against a University of Santo Tomas team that is doing the opposite.
Leaning on a double-double from Papi Sarr and a third quarter surge, the Falcons snapped a two-game skid and frustrated the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, 79-52, as the first round of the UAAP basketball tournament came to a close at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Cameroonian-born Sarr had 16 of his 25 rebounds in the first half and scored 16 points while conspiring with his teammates that included unheralded guard Nicholas Paranada in a third where the Falcons outscored the Tigers, 26-8, to enter the midway point of the season with a 4-3 record.
The Falcons forged a three-way tie for third to fifth with the idle Ateneo Blue Eagles and the loser of the National University-Far Eastern University game which was being played at presstime.
More importantly, Adamson was able to redeem itself from disappointing losses to unbeaten La Salle (91-75) and lowly University of the East (64-57) in a game where the Falcons squandered two 11-point leads in the third quarter.
“I think this is a good springboard for us coming into the second round. We we’re totally frustrated the last time around. But I have to give credit to my guys,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren, whose team exceeded last year’s three-win mark in impressive fashion.
Paranada, a recruit from San Diego and averaged 3.3 points in his previous three games, erupted for a career-best 14 points while adding three assists and four steals for the Falcons.
Adamson only led 33-29 entering the third but rookie guard Jerrick Ahanmisi scored eight of his 11 in the period while Sarr and Paranada combined for nine points to build a big lead.