ADAMSON pulled off a stunner through Papi Sarr’s go-ahead basket and Sean Manganti’s clutch free throws as they defeated Ateneo, 74-70, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.
The two teams exchanged runs all throughout the game, with Ateneo leading for the most part in the first half. However, Lastimosa’s personal 6-0 run propelled a rousing comeback, including a Ahanmisi half-court heave at the buzzer, as he propelled Adamson to take a one-point lead at the half.
In the fourth canto, Matt Nieto tried to lead the charge for the Blue Eagles by scoring 12 of his 21 markers. But the Soaring Falcons executed well down the stretch just enough to fend off the defending champions.
Adamson led in almost all key categories such as rebounds, assists, steals, and all shooting percentages across the board. Jerrick Ahanmisi and Vince Magbuhos scored in double-digits for the Falcons with 23 and 10 respectively.
On the other hand, Matt Nieto and Raffy Verano notched 21 and 10 respectively for the Eagles while veteran Thirdy Ravena struggled shooting from the field, tallying only seven points.
During the presscon interview, the Soaring Falcons bared that their extensive preparation against the defending champions bode well for them in this opening game.
“Pinag-prepare namin ‘yung game sa Ateneo ng mahigit tatlong buwan para matalo namin sila kasi sila ‘yung defending champions. Kinaya namin ngayon kahit malakas sila,” said Lastimosa.
“The coaches have been preparing us a lot and preparing us very well on this game. We started scouting them like months and months ago for this game and I’m glad that we come out with a win,” shared Ahanmisi.