Ochea’s ‘magical shot’ completes Falcons’ comeback vs Eagles

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 17, 2016 07:04 PM
Ochea’s ‘magical shot’ completes Falcons’ comeback vs Eagles
GOT TO BELIEVE. Dawn Ochea's only make in the game proved to be the difference for Adamson against Ateneo.

Without any made shots and having little to no impact on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, Dawn Ochea wasn’t on the floor when Adamson University was making up ground against Ateneo de Manila University.

In the game’s decisive moment, however, coach Franz Pumaren put the ball in the hands of his team captain.

Not about to let his coach down, Ochea rose over the outstretched arms of Vince Tolentino and launched the swishing jumper that proved the be the finishing touch in the Soaring Falcons’ 62-61 come-from-behind victory versus the Blue Eagles.

“Dawn Ochea made me a coaching genius. He nailed that magical shot,” a beaming coach Franz Pumaren said following Adamson’s well-earned second win through three games in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Less than two seconds was still left on the clock after the “magical shot,” but off a timeout, Thirdy Ravena muffed on his own last-gasp jumper.

The fourth-year forward wound up with only two points and one rebound, but it was his substitution of Simon Camacho with four seconds to go that was undoubtedly the game’s decisive moment. Prior to his game-winner, he sat on the bench as his team was unable to set up any look with their opponents armed with three fouls to give.

From a tied tally of 60, Chibueze Ikeh’s split from the stripe gave Ateneo a one-point lead. Still, the Falcons had 10 seconds for a possible game-winner only to see Jerrick Ahanmisi blanketed and Robbie Manalang fouled even before he could make a move.

With four seconds to go, Pumaren sent in Ochea and gave him specific instructions. As Ochea himself shared, “Sabi kasi ni coach na kapag naka-deny sina Jerrick at Robbie, siyempre hindi sila (Ateneo) mag-eexpect na off the bench ang mag-iiskor.”

However, the team captain wouldn’t have had the opportunity for the game-winner without the clutch conversions of Manalang who poured in all but five of his 15 points in the final frame. That, coupled with an Adamson defense that only allowed five points turned a 10-point deficit into the eventual one-point win.

Ahanmisi added 13 points and Papi Sarr contributed a 13-point, 16-rebound double-double to help the upstart Falcons improve to 2-1.

On the other hand, the Eagles dropped to 2-2 after having much trouble finding a contest-closer. Anton Asistio led them in the losing effort with 12 points.

BOX SCORES

ADAMSON 62 – Manalang 15, Ahanmisi 13, Sarr 13, Manganti 6, Espeleta 4, Mustre 4, Bernardo 3, Tungcab 2, Ochea 2, Camacho 0, Pasturan 0, Chua 0, Ng 0, Paranada 0

ATENEO 61 – Asistio 12, Porter 8, Nieto Mi 7, Nieto Ma 7, Tolentino 6, Ikeh 5, Mendoza 5, Wong 4, Verano 4, Ravena 3, Babilonia 0, Go 0

QUARTER SCORES: 21-15, 35-35, 46-56, 62-61

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