Falcons tab Final 4 berth
Adamson’s rise continued for the third straight season as the Falcons clinched a Final Four berth with a couple of games to spare last Wednesday in UAAP men’s basketball.
The Falcons transformed from a last place team in Season 78 into a contender the past three seasons under coach Franz Pumaren, only this time the multititled mentor feels they’re ripe to challenge for the crown.
“Well, of course, we are happy to reach the Final Four, but we’ve been doing that for the last two years,” said Pumaren, after the Falcons turned back the University of Santo Tomas Tigers, 96-83, for their ninth win of the season.
“Hopefully, we can improve our finish this year.”
Later, La Salle leaned on big plays from rookie Joaqui Manuel down the stretch as the Green Archers hacked out a 84-77 victory over National U to assure themselves of at least a playoff for a Final Four spot.
With the Archers leading, 77-75, Manuel finished with a flourish assisting on Santi Santillan’s layup before hitting a big three that took the fight out of the Bulldogs.
Justine Baltazar scored on another under goal stab to seal the win, 84-75, with 53 seconds remaining.
It was the Archers’ third straight win in the second round for an 8-4 record, giving them a two-game cushion over the University of the Philippines and Far Eastern U in the race for the last two semifinal berths.
Santillan finished with 18 points as five La Salle players notched twin digits. The Archers can seal their entry to the Final Four with a victory over fierce rival Ateneo on Sunday.
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