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Adamson became the first UAAP team to win the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) crown by dethroning Chiang Kai Shek College, 96-85, behind another well-balanced attack Sunday at the SGS gym in Quezon City.
With rookie Florencio Serrano waxing hot, the Baby Falcons made a decisive run in the second frame before lowering the boom in the payoff period to dispatch the Blue Dragons and capture the 5th MEC Networks Cup dubbed as “Battle of Champions.”
The leading scorer in the UAAP after the first round, the cat-quick Serrano awed his defenders with a mixture of devastating jumpers to finish with 20 points aside from posting 8 rebounds, four assists and a block in just 25 minutes of action.
For producing another all-around performance, the 5-foot-11 Serrano was named the Final MVP aside leading the Mythical Selection that included teammate Gerry Abadiano, La Salle Greenhills’ Troy Mallilin, Mapua’s Rom Junsay and Chiang Kai Shek’s Jonas Tibayan.
Aside from the championship trophy, Adamson got the R50,000 top prize from PSSBC officials led by MEC Network owner Leoncio Chua and Eduard Tio.
“The Baby Falcons I’m sure will have a memorable Christmas this time. They are really good,” said Chua.
Meantime, reigning NCAA titlist Mapua clinched third by downing La Salle-Greenhills, 80-69, big thanks to little-court general Junsay, who finished with 28 points, including four triples.
But the day’s biggest winner was coach Goldwin Monteverde.
The amiable Monteverde handled both Adamson and CKSC, but during the match, he sat in a neutral corner, grinning from ear-to-ear from time to time.
The title win was a fitting follow-up to Adamson’s big sweep of the first round of the UAAP elims.
Abadia was likewise deadly as he accounted for four of the team’s 10 triples to finish with 16 points. Reygan Santos had two triples to end up with 13 points while Jason Celis and the 6-foot-7 Carl Tamayo had 12 points each.
The orchestra-like plays of the Baby Falcons – they had several brilliant transition plays aside from producing 17 assists – negated the 32-point show of Chiang Kai Shek’s John Galinato.
Adamson’s defense was rock-solid as it held the usually-reliable Jonas Tibayan and Miguel Oczon to just five points each.