Adamson enters UAAP Final Four, sends UST to second straight loss
Adamson University clinched a spot in the Final Four after upending University of Santo Tomas, 96-83, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Soaring Falcons improved to 9-3 with two games remaining on their schedule while dooming the Tigers, who lost their second straight game to stay stuck at sixth seed with a 5-7 record.
UST still held up its fortifications until the end of the first half with a 40-39 lead but Adamson found its mark and took apart the Growling Tigers’ ramparts in the third quarter.
Adamson started the third with a 15-0 run to take a 54-40 lead after Jerom Lastimosa’s layup midway through the period.
The Soaring Falcons eventually outscored UST 31-18 in the whole third quarter to take a 70-58 lead heading into the fourth with Lastimosa and Jerrick Ahanmisi hitting eight points apiece during that 10-minute span.
“If you look at our game, we were kind of tight in the first half probably because the players really wanted to get a big lead right away to dispose of UST,” said Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren. “We settled down in the third and went to our regular rotation in our defense.”
Pumaren added that reaching the Final Four at this stage in the tournament is a tart for them but he knows they have to improve on this finish.
“We’re happy reaching the Final Four and I don’t want to sound hypocritical, reaching the Final Four is an achievement but we’ve been doing this for the last two years,” said Pumaren who led Adamson to the semifinals in Seasons 79 and 80.
UST’s miseries compounded in the second half got worse when its centers Germy Mahinay and Enrique Caunan fouled out leaving the Growling Tigers without a legitimate big man to cover Papi Sarr who had his way with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Rookie CJ Cansino also hurt his left ankle with 4:16 left in the game, and Adamson leading 89-61, after landing on Sean Manganti’s foot.
Although Cansino was able to come back to the game, time wasn’t on the Growling Tigers’ side.
Manganti led all scorers, including five Soaring Falcons who scored in double digits, with 22 points to go along seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Simon Camacho had a career-high 15 points with two steals and two blocks for the Falcons while Ahanmisi and Lastimosa had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Renzo Subido had 21 points and five assists to lead the Growling Tigers while Cansino filled out the stat sheets with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.
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