Maroons, Bulldogs stay perfect as Falcons survive Tigers in OT | Inquirer Sports

Maroons, Bulldogs stay perfect as Falcons survive Tigers in OT

Joem Sabandal Adamson UAAP

Adamson’s Joem Sabandal.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Jeff Napa believes that luck played a big role why National University remained undefeated after two games in Season 86 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

A 71-65 squeaker against Far Eastern University on Wednesday certainly wasn’t expected since the Bulldogs were coming off a swashbuckling thrashing of defending champion Ateneo just three days before.

“We can’t afford to play like that going into our game against UP on Saturday,” Napa said in Filipino as his Bulldogs and the Fighting Maroons will be taking different forms going into that clash for the early lead also at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

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Different because the Maroons played like the pretournament favorites that they are after crushing University of the East (UE) and sending the Red Warriors crashing back with an 84-69 win earlier, even as Adamson notched its first win after turning back University of Santo Tomas, 79-76, in overtime.

La Salle and Ateneo were playing at press time, with the Green Archers to climb into a share of the lead with a win.

“I have been mad at the team for the past two days,” Napa said as his Bulldogs played without the hunger they displayed in conquering the Eagles in the inaugurals. “That’s not the way we approach the game. This was a far departure from the way we played our first game.

“We were lucky to get this win because we played really bad.”

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Acid test

The game against the Maroons will be an acid test.

“You saw how they buried [UE],” Napa said of the Maroons. “As coaches, we need to prepare this team to play UP because they will come out strong and we need to be ready.”

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Adamson dealt the Growling Tigers a second straight defeat after getting the goods from Ced Manzano and Joem Sabandal in the extra frame.

Sabandal scored seven of his nine points after regulation and helped the Falcons to a seven-point lead with just over a minute left.

Santo Tomas was able to make it close after Nic Cabañero hit two off-balanced triples.

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“Good thing we worked together as a team in the fourth quarter and overtime. We were able to show the team’s attitude in a game this close,” said Sabandal in Filipino.

TAGS: Far Eastern University, National University, UAAP men’s basketball

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