Falcons, Eagles soar anew, keep 1-2 post
Vince Magbuhos of Adamson fights off Jeremy Mahinay (left) andand Joshua Marcos of UST in a rebound play in their UAAP game yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Joey Mendoza
MANILA, Philippines — With its back-up crew giving a big lift, Adamson came through with a 79-71 victory over erratic Santo Tomas to stay spotless in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tourney yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Falcons bench chipped in 40 points to offset the limited contributions from veterans Papi Sarr (four points) and Sean Manganti (scoreless), who were bothered by illness and minor sprain, respectively, as the San Marcelino-based squad did enough to book its third straight win.
Defending champion Ateneo moved up to solo second at 2-1 after asserting its might over National U (1-2) in the second game, 72-46.
“One thing I can say is yung bench players proved they are capable of stepping up. Papi (Sarr) is not 100 percent, played through sickness, same with Sean, foot was bothering him. I think this is one game that we’re able to prove that we can play as a team, hold down the opponent and we can survive any game,” said AdU coach Franz Pumaren, whose subs actually outscored the starters by one.
Simon Camacho (nine markers, eight rebounds,three steals) and Kristian Bernardo (seven points, five boards, two steals) delivered off the bench to complement Jerrick Ahanmisi’s 20,Vince Magbuhos’s 15 and Jonathan Espeleta’s 12.
“They gave us a lift, our players are beginning to accept their respective roles, see the whole picture and the things they can do to help the team,” said Pumaren.
The Tigers, who were hurt by 27 turnovers that AdU converted into 29 markers, slipped to 1-2.
“We played like rookies today. Our inexperience manifested during the game especially that crucial stretch where we’re not able to observe the rules sa depensa and our decision making in offense,” rued UST’s Aldin Ayo, whose team was led by rookie CJ Cansino’s 18.
The Tigers actually had the driver’s seat in the third, 50-47, before Camacho dropped five in a an 11-4 counter that put the Falcons back on the driver’s seat. Ahanmisi and Bernardo spearheaded the fourth quarter attack to seal the deal.
The Eagles, meanwhile, choked NU to an 18-of-65 shooting (27.69 percent) to cage the Bulldogs and streak to their second consecutive triumph after getting their ambush on opening weekend at the hands of AdU.
“Our defense was the way we wanted to play, never an excuse not to play it that way now. So I like it when we set a standard instead of pressing it, now we have something to live up to” said AdMU coach Tab Baldwin.
Inspite of the rout, Baldwin took a swipe at officiating.
“It annoys me when referees referee to the score and it’s clear they refereed to the score today and that’s inappropirate, that’s not in the spirit of the game,” Baldwin said. “I sure like to know why the foul count increases considerably when we have a big lead, why players are allowed to push off when we’re pressuring them full court. I’d like to know the rationale on the referees’ mind when they change the way they referee when the score changes.”