Sweet-shooting Falcons hold off Bulldogs for 5th straight win
The Adamson Falcons lived by the three, and thrived by the three.
Adamson University improved to a perfect 5-0 record in the FilOil Premier Cup after holding on to defeat the erstwhile spotless National University, 78-72, Friday at the Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Jerrick Ahanmisi led the scoring for the Falcons with 16 points, draining four of his five three-pointer attempts while Sean Manganti had 14 points and four rebounds to hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the preseason tournament.
The Falcons’ sluggish start saw them trail 16-21 after the first quarter, but they held the Bulldogs to just 11 points in the second frame to take a 33-32 lead heading into the third quarter.
J-Jay Alejandro poured 13 of his 21 points in an impressive solo run in the third quarter to cut the Falcons’ lead to three, 48-45 with 4 minutes to go.
Dave Yu reclaimed the lead for NU with a booming triple for the 51-50 advantage with two minutes to go before the payoff period.
But the Falcons, who shot 50% on threes, found their stroke from deep, ending the third quarter with back-to-back triples from Ahanmisi and Jerie Pingoy for the 58-51 lead entering the fourth.
The threes just kept falling for the Falcons in the final frame, with Ahanmisi and Robbie Manalang each hitting dagger after dagger to bury NU to a 17-point hole, 77-60 with four minutes left.
The Bulldogs, wanting to preserve their run, fought back, going on a 12-1 run to end the game, but the Falcons’ lead proved to be insurmountable.
J-Jay Alejandro led all scorers with 21 points, while Senegalese big man Issa Gaye finished with 13 markers and six rebounds as the Bulldogs fall to a 3-1 slate.
“Down the stretch, medyo hindi maganda pinakita ng mga bata, mga last one minute kasi parang nag-relax nga,” Adamson assistant coach Jack Santiago said, “Kailangan namin matapos yung game with a strong finish talaga, we cannot afford to [ignore] the finishing touches down the stretch.”
“But a win is a win, kahit gano kapanget yan, panalo pa rin,” he added.
ADAMSON (78) - Ahanmisi 16, Manganti 14, Hill 11, Sarr 9, Manalang 8, Pingoy 8, Camacho 6, Ochea 2, Zaldivar 2, Mustre 2, Paranada 0.
NU (72) - Alejandro 21, Gaye 13, Bartlett 8, Yu 6, Salem 6, Flores 4, Diputado 4, Lastimosa 3, Galvelo 3, Morido 2, Tibayan 2, Abatayo 0, Aquino 0, Sistoza 0, Rangle 0.
16-21, 33-32, 58-51, 78-72.