By Jerome Lagunzad
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. – Adamson vs La Salle
4 p.m. – FEU vs Ateneo
Adamson coach Franz Pumaren believes that the Soaring Falcons have what it takes to get the job done on a consistent basis if only his wards can maximize the potential of everyone.
That’s exactly what happened yesterday as Adamson turned back University of the East, 66-57, to put its UAAP basketball campaign back on track at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Cameroon big man Papi Sarr posted double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds while Jerrick Ahanmisi led their local charge with 14 points, spiked by a pair of triples, as the Soaring Falcons displayed a balanced attack plus a sustained defensive effort to repeat over the Red Warriors and jack up their record to 6-3, good for third.
More importantly, the Soaring Falcons took to their collective hearts what Pumaren told them after absorbing a 71-59 setback to the Ateneo Blue Eagles over the weekend where they could only come up with five assists – a season-low.
“We learned that we’re not that good of a team if we play individually. We dissected everything already and I guess they now embrace the idea of why we’re winning,” he stressed. “We’re winning because we’re playing as a team. It’s a collective effort not only on defense but also on offense.”
Indeed, the Soaring Falcons moved the ball around well this time as they registered 21 assists, nine more than their Red Warriors counterparts, with Ahanmisi and starting guard Jerie Pingoy accounting for seven of those.
Adamson also proved a tough nut to crack defensively as UE top gun Alvin Pasaol made just three of his last 13 attempts in the second half despite finishing with a game-high 22 points.
Pasaol’s fellow veteran Mark Olayon chipped in 16 points but no other Red Warrior scored more than five points, typifying their offensive struggles that put an end to their two-game winning run for a 2-7 mark.
Still, Adamson’s latest victory was not as easy as the final score suggested after UE threatened to within 54-59 off a JC Cullar putback followed by a Nick Abanto bucket with still three minutes to play.
But the Soaring Falcons showed poise under duress, with Sean Manganti pulling up for a triple in transition and Ahanmisi banking in a tough fadeaway jumper in a crucial five-to-one counterattack that made it a nine-point game anew.
ADAMSON 66 – Ahanmisi 14, Sarr 12, Manganti 10, Camacho 6, Bernardo 6, Pingoy 5, Manalang 5, Lojera 2, Ochea 2, Hill 2, Mustre 2, Paranada 0, Espeleta 0.
UE 57 – Pasaol 22, Olayon 16, Bartolome 4, Maloles 3, Manalang 2, Acuno 2, Abanto 2, Cullar 2, Conner 2, Armenion 2, Varilla 0, Derige 0.
Quarters: 19-16, 35-30, 55-48, 66-57.