Ateneo knocks out Adamson to set up UAAP Finals rematch vs UP
MANILA, Philippines–Ateneo set the stage for another titular showdown with University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament by frustrating Adamson, 81-60, in the Final Four on Wednesday night.
Forthsky Padrigao fired 16 points and Chris Koon added 15 as the Blue Eagles made short work of the fourth-seeded Falcons and prevented a make-or-break scenario in the semifinals.
The Blue Eagles will be seeking to redeem themselves against the defending champion Fighting Maroons, who earlier eliminated National U, in a best-of-three championship series beginning on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“We had our best offensive performance of the year. I think when you get some time to prepare and your opponent doesn’t have much time and they were playing on heart, they were playing on Nash’s brain, and all of those things they have a ton of,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin.
“But the cauldron of the semifinals you need more than that you need time to prepare, you need rest, and you need a full team hitting on all cylinders and tonight we were that team.”
The imprints of a probable rout were evident in the first half when the Falcons tried clawing back from a double-digit hole.
With Padrigao, Koon and Kai Ballungay connecting from afar, the Blue Eagles easily got hold of a seven-point advantage at the onset and bumped it up further, 39-29, at halftime.
The narrative hardly changed the rest of the way with Ateneo sealing Adamson’s exit by scoring 19 straight points late in the third quarter for a 27-point advantage that doomed the Falcons for good.
It put the cap on a promising season for the Falcons, who knocked out the La Salle Green Archers in a playoff for the right to meet the top flight Blue Eagles.
ATENEO 81 — Padrigao 16, Koon 15, Ballungay 13, Ildefonso 11, Kouame 9, Andrade 5, Gomez 3, Quitevis 3, Garcia 3, Daves 2, Lao 1, Lazaro 0, Chiu 0, Fetalvero 0, Fornilos 0, Ong 0.
ADAMSON 60 — Lastimosa 10, Hanapi 9, Manzano 8, Yerro 7, Douanga 6, Flowers 6, Torres 5, Sabandal 3, V. Magbuhos 3, Colonia 2, Manlapaz 1, Fuentebella 0, Jaymalin 0, Barasi 0, W. Magbuhos 0, Barcelona.
Quarters: 20-13, 39-29, 63-36, 81-60.