Back in flight
Over the past few playdates, three schools have had their moment at the No. 1 spot in the UAAP men’s basketball standings. And on Wednesday afternoon, Adamson took its turn at the top anew.
On a day a rookie from its high school program finally showed his worth, the Falcons snapped a two-game slide with a 69-58 drubbing of National University at Mall of Asia Arena.
And just like that, despite enduring a two-game slide before Wednesday’s dominating victory, Adamson grabbed a piece of the lead with its sixth win in eight outings.
The Falcons share the same record with idle Ateneo but own the tiebreak against the defending champion for now.
Jerrick Ahanmisi fired 21 points and Papi Sarr finished with 15 points for Adamson.
Earlier, former Adamson high school star Encho Serrano bucked an illness to key La Salle’s second straight victory at the expense of University of the East, 79-59.
With Aljun Melecio cooling off after an explosive performance against Adamson last Saturday, Serrano, the former high school star from Adamson, finally came out of his shell, finishing with 18 points in just 18 minutes.
“I just really wanted to play to get my confidence,” said Serrano in Filipino.
Andrei Caracut also dished out his best game of the season with 16 points as the Archers kept their explosive form against a UE team that showed little fight in the middle quarters.
“We need everyone to step up in the second round,” said La Salle coach Louie Gonzales, whose team pulled level with FEU at third spot with a 5-3 record.
Melecio was held to just eight points after back-to-back 20-point performances against Ateneo and Adamson, but big men Santi Santillan and Justin Baltazar put together 25 points for the Archers.
But it was Serrano’s play that turned out to be the biggest difference for La Salle.
A dominant presence in high school with his strength and athleticism, Serrano scored on transition baskets and daredevil drives, providing a quick reminder why so many schools wanted to recruit him.
What made the performance even more remarkable was the fact that Serrano had to go to the hospital for a checkup the morning before the game as he was suffering from a flu.
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