Adamson earns Final 4 playoff, holds off UP
Adamson University secured at least a playoff for a Final Four seat after holding off University of the Philippines, 80-72, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The second-seeded Soaring Falcons improved to 8-2 while the Fighting Maroons slid to fifth with a 5-6 record with University of Santo Tomas moving up to fourth.
The Growling Tigers upped their mark to 5-5 after a 79-68 win over University of the East earlier in the day.
Jerrich Ahanmisi was vital in a big third quarter by the Falcons with 15 points. His assist to Conrad Catapusan made it, 61-39, with 3:03 to go in the period.
Adamson, however, still needed to fend off a spirited comeback by UP in the fourth quarter.
Juan Gomez De Liaño punctuated UP’s 22-7 run in the fourth with a three-pointer that cut Adamson’s lead to four, 74-70, just a few seconds after the two-minute warning.
Adamson, though, had Sean Manganti to restore order.
Ahanmisi got trapped near the left elbow before firing a pass to Manganti for the dagger three from the right wing that gave the Soaring Falcons a 77-70 lead with 1:14 left in the game.
“I cannot say that I was concerned, I was confident in my players, it was a good test for them because despite the run we didn’t panic,” said Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren. “A few years ago, if that situation arises, we would’ve folded but we were able to redeem ourselves and got back to rhythm.”
Ahanmisi finished with 24 points, six rebounds, and three assists for the Falcons while Jerom Lastimosa added 14 points, four assists, three steals, and two blocks.
Manganti, who shot the game-winner in Adamson’s 69-68 first round win over UP, had 10 points and six boards.
Bright Akhuetie led the Fighting Maroons with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
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