Dominant on both ends, Adamson repeated over eliminated National U on Sunday 77-53 to stay in the hunt for the remaining Final Four incentive in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Adamson import Papi Sarr threw his full weight around the lane by pumping in 22 points and 15 rebounds while Junjun Espeleta continued his fine performance with 15 markers as the Soaring Falcons proved too hot to handle for the free-falling Bulldogs.
The victory, its fourth straight, enabled Adamson to tie the struggling defending champion Far Eastern U with similar 8-5 marks while staying hot on the heels of Ateneo (9-4) for the second and final twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
“We needed that win. We’re aiming to at least get a tie and have a shot of gaining that twice-to-beat advantage. The scenario right now is we have to beat Ateneo,” said Soaring Falcons’ coach Franz Pumaren, quickly shifting his sights to an all-important showdown with the Blue Eagles on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
J-Jay Alejandro had a team-high 15 markers but he and the rest of the Bulldogs groped for form against the Soaring Falcons’ sustained defense, leading to their ninth loss in 14 matches, putting a sorry ending to an already failed campaign. – By Jerome Lagunzad
ADAMSON 77 – Sarr 22, Espeleta 15, Tungcab 9, Manalang 8, Manganti 6, Ahanmisi 5, Paranada 5, Mustre 3, Camacho 2, Bernardo 2, Ochea 0, Pasturan 0, Ng 0, Chua 0
NU 53 – Alejandro 15, Aroga 9, Salem 8, Yu 6, Diputado R 5, Mosqueda 3, Morido 2, Salim 2, Rangel 2, Abatayo 1, Diputado C 0
Quarterscores: 14-13, 35-19, 56-40, 77-53.