Adamson stays perched at third after routing NU

Adamson stays perched at third after routing NU
GETTING THERE. Adamson is so close to a playoff berth that it could already taste it.

Adamson University needs one more win to book a ticket for the next round of the UAAP 80 Men's Basketball Tournament.

More than that, they remain in the running for a playoff incentive.

The Soaring Falcons stayed within striking distance of second-running De La Salle University after pouncing on listless National University, 90-77, on Sunday at the MOA Arena.

Franz Pumaren's boys blitzed to a scorching start of 21-5 and never trailed. “People will tend to notice our shooting, but we put more emphasis on defense. Hopefully, we can sustain it,” the head coach said.

In the first half alone, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Jonathan Espeleta, and Rob Manalang each had 11 points to almost match the output of their opponents who only mustered 35.

Revrev Diputado and J-Jay Alejandro jolted some life to the Bulldogs and pulled them to within 77-86 with under a minute remaining, but free throws from Ahanmisi and Koko Pingoy kept them at bay once and for all.

In the end, Ahanmisi and Espeleta both scored 16 points and shot four triples. Manalang also added 14 points while Papi Sarr posted a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Now with back-to-back wins, Adamson improved to 8-4 – behind the 10-2 Green Archers who are in the lead for the remaining twice-to-beat advantage.

Still, Pumaren said their focus is on their remaining assignments up against fellow playoff hopefuls University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University. “Right now, our focus is just to win the next two games. We just want to enter the Final Four on a winning note,” he said.

The climb gets steeper for NU which dropped to 4-7. Alejandro and Diputado had 18 and 14 points, respectively, to lead them in the losing effort.

If they are to catch up with joint fourth-placers FEU and UP, they will also have to win against those two teams in their remaining assignments.

BOX SCORES

ADAMSON 90 – Ahanmisi 16, Espeleta 16, Sarr 14, Manalang 14, Pingoy 7, Manganti 7, Lojera 5, Camacho 4, Mustre 3, Bernardo 2, Zaldivar 2, Ochea 0, Hill 0, Paranada 0, Chua 0

NU 77 – Alejandro 18, Diputado 14, Yu 8, Mosqueda 7, Tibayan 6, Morido 6, Abatayo 5, Aquino 4, Cauilan 3, Joson 2, Gaye 2, Rangel 2, Lastimosa 0, Bartlett 0

QUARTER SCORES: 32-12, 57-35, 72-48, 90-77

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