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Papi Sarr set to soar for Falcons

By Jerome Lagunzad

A welcome development for Adamson, a bad news for University of Santo Tomas.

After being sidelined by a groin injury the last time out, Cameroon big man Papi Sarr has been cleared to play against the Growling Tigers tomorrow, giving the Soaring Falcons a timely boost in their bid to put their UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball title campaign on the right track.

Papi Sarr (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)

Papi Sarr (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)

The 6-foot-6 Sarr watched helplessly from the bench when Adamson fell prey to Ateneo 65-85 over the weekend. But he already joined the Soaring Falcons’ training sessions early this week, giving him enough time to gain his timing and rhythm.

“I want to make a strong comeback. That’s the name of the game for me right now. I just want to keep working hard every single day and keep gaining strength. Hopefully, I could help the team get that first win,” said Sarr in an official statement yesterday.

The impending arrival of Sarr, who finished bridesmaid to fellow compatriot Ben Mbala of defending champion La Salle in the MVP race last year, should give the Soaring Falcons the imposing presence that they sorely lacked against the Blue Eagles.

On his first stint under Adamson coach Franz Pumaren last year, Sarr finally played true to his potential underscored by his game-averages of 14.0 points, 14.5 rebounds, 1.0 block and as many assist while leading the Soaring Falcons back to the Final Four round for the first time since 2011.

To speed up his recovery, Sarr disclosed that he’s doing some aqua therapy to improve his footwork plus extra shooting drills with the help of former two-time pro league MVP winner Willie Miller.

However, Sarr is expected to have his hands full on UST counterpart, Cameroonian Steve Akomo, who made a good account of himself in their sorry 73-74 loss dealt by University of the Philippines last Sunday.

The 6-foot-8 Akomo made a solid debut with 15 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks but fouled out with still three minutes to play, the game still hanging in the balance.