Last Sunday, Adamson University was two minutes and 22 seconds away from avenging its semifinals loss to the University of the Philippines a season ago.
Much of that was thanks to rookie AP Manlapaz who came out of nowhere to score six points in overtime and seize an 82-75 advantage in favor of the Soaring Falcons.
Of course, Bright Akhuetie had other plans and fronted the Fighting Maroons' rally that eventually ended as a comeback win.
Afterward, Adamson could only lament at what could have been - especially the first-year forward who had just played the game of his life. "Nagkulang lang ng puso nung huli. Parang nag-break down yung mga veterans namin," he told reporters.
He then continued, "Pero sabi nga ni coach, mahaba pa naman yung season kaya pwedeng-pwede pa kaming makabawi."
Indeed, despite absorbing their second loss in four games, the Soaring Falcons are moving forward with the knowledge that they can call upon Manlapaz and the youngster will be there. "Kanina po, gusto ko lang bumawi sa mga last games kasi wala akong napapakita. Dahil dun, taalgang parang nagkusa po ako," he shared.
He then continued, "Dahil po rito, sana nag-start na talagang ma-boost yung confidence ko sa mga darating na games namin."
And moving forward, the 19-year-old energizer only vows to continue returning the trust of head coach Franz Pumaren. "Masaya po akong malaki yung tiwala nila sa akin kaya gustong-gusto ko talagang may maipapakita ako dapat sa kanila," he said.
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