Being tagged as a marked man has started to take its toll on Adamson’s prized rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi.
The younger brother of Rain or Shine guard Maverick, however, found a way to get out of his shooting slump on Saturday night when he waxed hot from beyond the arc in the Soaring Falcons’ morale-boosting 79-71 win over University of the East in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tourney at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
After laying a big fat egg in their 66-70 loss to University of the Philippines last Oct. 12, a well-rested Ahanmisi showcased his usual shooting prowess as he knocked down 17 points, spiked by four triples, providing the needed outside sniping in Adamson’s fifth win in 10 matches overall.
While he has certainly regained his shooting touch, Ahanmisi could only be thankful for the support given by his Adamson teammates and their coaching staff.
“The coaches really helped me coming into this game. They told me to forget about the past game and keep playing my game,” he said.
“The other teams are playing tougher defense on me. I’m not getting as easier looks as I did when I first started. That just comes with all of the expectations that my coaches are coming from. I just need to learn how to take that as a challenge and accept it.”
Adamson’s first-year coach Franz Pumaren was proud to see how Ahanmisi—and his fellow Falcons—continue to show maturity in handling the mounting pressure.
“Jerrick played his worst game in his career (the last time out). This is just a test, we take each game as a lesson. We don’t dwell on what happened,” he stressed. “I think this is a sign that we’re slowly maturing and partly because of our schedule.”
Ahanmisi added he couldn’t get it done without the support of his fellow Soaring Falcons.
“My teammates told me to forget about the game and bounce back. They’re going to help me out even if I do have a bad game. My coaches told me to keep my head up,” he said.
“I was just thinking about how bad a game that I played (against UP) and how much I let my team down. I did not play as well as I usually do and I felt that I did not help my team. It took a couple of hours. After the game, I just told myself to forget about it and next game, come back and play hard.”
Ahanmisi is more thrilled to see the Falcons stepped up to the occasion collectively as they avenged a seven-point loss to the Red Warriors in their first-round meeting last Oct. 2.
“I think it was a good game for us. Especially since we lost to UE. It’s a good game for us to show everybody that we aren’t a losing team anymore,” he said. – By Jerome Lagunzad
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports