Adamson flaunts depth in close win over UST
Even with two of its stars Papi Sarr and Sean Manganti not in top form, Adamson showed it could still get it done by playing as a team.
The Falcons got contributions from across the board with Simon Camacho and Kristian Bernardo along with several others making the most of their extended playing time in a 79-71 win over University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.
“My bench players proved that they are capable of stepping up,” said Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren. “In case you didn’t know, Papi is not 100 percent. He just played through sickness. Same thing with Sean, he’s not 100 percent his foot is bothering him.”
“But in spite of them having a bad night because of various illness and injury, I think this is a one game we were able to prove to ourselves that if we just play as a team, hold down the opponent, I think we can survive any game.”
Jerrick Ahanmisi, who has emerged as the early MVP favorite, continued his torrid play with 20 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to power Adamson.
But despite Ahanmisi’s brilliance, it took a collective effort to fend off the much-improved Growling Tigers with Vince Magbuho posting 15 points and four steals, Jonathan Espeleta scoring 12 and Camacho and Bernardo combining for 16 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and three blocks.
“I think it was a good test for us to show how well we play as a team down the stretch even though, we have some players that weren’t a hundred percent,” Ahanmisi said.
Adamson hiked its record to 3-0 but Pumaren knows the Falcons cannot afford to let their guards down with the rest of the league extra motivated to take them down following their stunning win over Ateneo in their season-opener last September 9.
“Like what I’ve been stressing to my players, after beating the defending champs, I don’t think there’s gonna be an easy game for us,” Pumaren said. “Everybody will test us, everybody will see if we can handle the pressure. I guess we just have to prepare.”
“We’re successful at this stage and we’re playing well because we play as one unit. I think the only way for us to be successful this year is to continue what we’re doing. We just have to stay the course, stay within the system, our program because no individual player can win us games, it’s gonna be team effort to beat the other teams.”