Career night | Inquirer Sports

Career night

Manganti waxes hot, Baltazar punches in huge game as Adamson, La Salle hold off UAAP foes
By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 05:45 AM September 20, 2018

The only thing Adamson and La Salle shared Wednesday night was a pair of victories forged through big games from their standouts.

When the buzzer sounded for each team, however, their coaches had opposite reactions to the wins.

For Adamson’s Franz Pumaren, it was dissatisfaction over how the Falcons mishandled a match against the lowly University of the East Warriors before finally emerging with a 90-76 victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.

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“Nothing against UE, but we made it a very difficult game on our part,” Pumaren told reporters. “I guess that some of the guys coming into this game the mentality is that UE is just gonna roll over and give the ball to us but it’s different.”

Sean Manganti scored 27 points, his personal best in the UAAP but it was Jerrick Ahanmisi who led a pivotal second quarter breakaway to finish with 17 points.

Ahanmisi sparked a 17-4 Adamson surge in the final six minutes and 14 seconds of the first half where the Falcons turned a three-point deficit into a 42-32 halftime spread and never looked back.

Papi Sarr notched a double-double with 15 points and 21 rebounds for the Falcons, who improved to 2-0.

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La Salle also took some time before snatching control from National University, needing a huge go-ahead basket by Justine Baltazar to ice a 80-76 triumph in the other game.

But coach Louie Gonzalez was obviously elated with the win, especially since it was off a play they had prepared for a lot of times.

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Baltazar hit a jumper from the left baseline off an inbound pass to put the Green Archers ahead, 78-76, with 28 seconds left.

“I think I’ve run that play for like a 100 times in practice. Like what I told you guys before, Justine will play a big role for us this season,” said Gonzalez, whose squad rallied from 11 points down in the second period.

“I told him to shoot when he gets the ball,” Gonzalez added.

The third-year big man notched a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Aljun Melecio led all scorers with 19 points for La Salle, which bounced back from a 68-61 loss to Far Eastern University last Sept. 9.

The Archers actually ended the game on a 6-0 spurt after Troy Rike gave the Bulldogs a 76-74 edge with 1:42 remaining.

“Whatever the odds, the adversity they faced earlier in the game, I looked at them and saw their composure,” Gonzalez, who is in his first year at La Salle’s helm following the transfer of Aldin Ayo to University of Santo Tomas.

Rookie Dave Ildefonso led NU, which slipped to 1-1, for the second straight game with 16 points.

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Pumaren had to call for a timeout near the midway mark of the second quarter after the Red Warriors, crushed by the University of the Philippines in their first game this season, grabbed a 28-25 edge.

“We started flat and I just wanted to pick up the intensity,” said Ahanmisi.

TAGS: Adamson, Basketball, La Salle, UAAP men’s basketball

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