Far Eastern University-Diliman locked horns with Adamson High School in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre floor on Sunday and in the end, the longtime powerhouse just had more weapons to wield than the upstart.
Bryan Sajonia turned in a breakout game on both ends just as RJ Abarrientos and Royce Alforque turned in the backbreakers as the Baby Tamaraws came out on top of the Baby Falcons, 80-72, for solo second in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament.
The two teams were all even in the standings entering the game and were going at it for majority of the matchup that featured seven lead changes and deadlocks apiece.
The tally was still tied at 59-all inside the last seven minutes until Sajonia unleashed a personal 5-0 run to grant his side a five-point edge.
Of course, Adamson didn’t go away just yet and AP Manlapaz pulled them within 67-70 before Abarrientos hit a booming triple and Alfoque followed it up with an and-one for a 76-67 FEU-Diliman lead.
Some free throws and defensive stops later, the Baby Tamaraws charged to their third win in a row and sixth overall in eight games.
Sajonia wound up with 21 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals – without a doubt, his best game in his two seasons in green and gold.
Abarrientos added a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double while Alforque chipped in 15 markers and six assists of his own for FEU-Diliman. They get a leg up over 5-2 Ateneo de Manila High School which has a date with 6-1 Nazareth School of National University later in the day.
For the Baby Falcons, Joem Sabandal showed the way with 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals alongside Manlapaz who had 17 markers and nine boards. Having fell short in the game, they fall to solo fourth in the standings at 5-3.
Meanwhile, University of Sto. Tomas breathed some more life into its playoff hopes after taking care of business against lowly University of the East, 85-63.
Rookie sensation Mark Nonoy put on a show all throughout and wound up with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists – his second triple-double in the tournament.
In the first half alone, Nonoy already had 20 points, five assists, and five rebounds as the Tiger Cubs never trailed en route to their fourth win in eight games.
The Junior Warriors dropped to 1-7 with the loss.
UST 85 – Nonoy 27, Lina 15, Marzan 9, Casingcasing 9, Manabat 8, Estrella 4, Dumlao 4, Oliva 4, Benzonan 3, Amador 2, Sumabat 0, Dolendo 0, Beliran 0, Barranco 0
UE 63 – Dichoso 21, Tajonera 14, Sullano 12, Flores 4, Villarta 4, Tan 3, Almacen 3, Alinsoring 2, Manaug 0, Agbas 0, Lima 0, Santos 0, Gatdula 0
QUARTER SCORES: 23-14, 43-33, 64-46, 85-63
FEU-DILIMAN 80 – Sajonia 21, Abarrientos 17, Alforque 15, Ona 8, Tolentino 7, Torres 5, Anonuevo 4, Sicat 3, Bautista 0, Armendez 0, Bagunu 0, Barasi 0, Bradley 0
ADAMSON 72 – Sabandal 17, Manlapaz 17, Doria Ad 11, Dorian An 10, Padilla 5, Prodigo 4, Hanapi 2, Capulong 2, Barcelona 2, Santos 2, Nitura 0, Dominguez 0
QUARTER SCORES: 13-21, 37-33, 52-49, 80-72
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