UAAP: Adamson sends statement with upset of Ateneo
Adamson took down heavy favorite Ateneo to start the season
The odds were not in Adamson University’s favor up against Ateneo de Manila University in both teams’ first assignments in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Soaring Falcons, however, had lady luck smiling at them all game long on Sunday at the MOA Arena and coupled that with heart and hustle to pull off a 74-70 upset on the defending champion Blue Eagles.
“Of course, kudos to my coaching staff. They did a great job,” a satisfied head coach Franz Pumaren said post-game. “And also to my players for following the instructions.”
Favorite to repeat, Ateneo was in complete command of the game until Lastimosa made his mark late in the second quarter.
Down 29-39 with 39 ticks to go before halftime, Lastimosa’s energy forced three turnovers that led to an 11-0 run that took the lead and the momentum for Adamson.
Of course, the Blue Eagles battled back only to see veterans Jerrick Ahanmisi, Papi Sarr, and Sean Manganti send them away time and again. “When they were making a run, I just kept telling my players na we have to hang on. The goal was to let the game be close,” coach Franz said.
With the tally tied at 68-all with 1:20 remaining, Ahanmisi hit a beautiful floater over the outstretched arms of Isaac Go.
Thirdy Ravena’s putback yet again evened things up, but Sarr made good on his own follow up of a Manganti miss for what proved to be the go-ahead basket.
The Soaring Falcons then put the finishing touches on the upset by forcing Ravena to a tough triple try and converting a couple of charities courtesy of Manganti.
In the end, Ahanmisi had 23 points and Sarr had eight markers of his own on top of nine rebounds. Lastimosa contributed a total of six points, four assists, and three rebounds in just 12 impactful minutes of action.
The defense held up its end as well by shackling the Ateneo offense to just 28 percent shooting.
Matt Nieto was the lone efficient Blue Eagle with 21 points in 5-of-12 shooting. Ravena, for his part, struggled with just seven points in 25 percent shooting as they suffered a surprising setback to open their title defense.
ADAMSON 74 – Ahanmisi 23, Magbuhos 10, Sarr 8, Espeleta 7, Catapusan 7, Lastimosa 6, Manganti 4, Pingoy 3, Mojica 3, Camacho 2, Colonia 1, Bernardo 0
ATENEO 70 – Nieto Ma 21, Verano 10, Ravena 7, Asistio 7, Go 6, Navarro 5, Mendoza 5, Nieto Mi 4, Black 4, Kouame 1, Wong 0, Tio 0, Belangel 0
QUARTER SCORES: 18-20, 40-39, 55-51, 74-70
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