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Adamson seals third seed at UP’s expense

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Continuing their string of impressive outings, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons picked apart the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 86-70, Sunday evening at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“Our mentality is Final Four mode already. During this stretch, every game is important, and every game is a learning process for us, a learning experience for us,” said second-year Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren as they are winning with an average of 11.33 points during their three-game winning streak.

With a 9-4 slate, Adamson sealed the third Final Four spot. In addition, with just one game left in their slate, the Soaring Falcons have already one-upped their 8-6 record a season ago.

“First of all, I guess we exceeded our last year’s performance. We’re ahead by one game going to the last game of the eliminations. That’s an improvement already,” beamed Pumaren.

Same could not be said about UP as it fell to a 5-7 slate, a game behind fourth-running FEU Tamaraws.

“It’s so hard for UP, I’m also torn, I just finished a course and I took up Masters sa UP. I take this opportunity, shoutout to Mr. Anton Montinola (FEU’s board representative). Sabi niya may freebie daw ako if we beat UP,” quipped the youthful mentor.

By the third frame, Pumaren’s deal with Montinola was virutally sealed as Adamson soared to a 30-point quarter. Jerie Pingoy, Papi Sarr, and Robbie Manalang combined to score 23 points during the quarter that helped Adamson erect a 23-point lead, 60-37, with 4:28 left in the quarter.

Papi Sarr finished with 25 points on a 9-for-14 shooting clip to go along with 17 rebounds while Jerie Pingoy had 15 points, eight assists, and six steals.

However, during the run itself, things got heated between the two sides as the UP-side grew frustrated. A “fan” was even escorted out of the arena for throwing paper on the court.

“Sinasabi ni Coach Franz, just play, wag niyo na isipin yun. Tina-try nila na sirain sa ganoon na plays. We’re just gonna play our game,” said Pingoy.

UP battled back in the final frame, cutting the lead to as low as eight points, 74-66, after six straight points by Paul Desiderio. However, the Soaring Falcons answered right back with a 12-0 run of their own to finally quell the Fighting Maroons.

“If you notice it, during the time that we made a run, the second time we made, I didn’t call a timeout. For me, that’s one way of trusting my players, one way of making them feel that they should rise above the challenge. They were able to regroup,” Pumaren said.

Jerrick Ahanmisi and Robbie Manalang finished with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Besides winning the rebounding battle, the Soaring Falcons went 25-for-28 from the charity stripe. In contrast, the Fighting Maroons attempted just 10 freebies in the contest.

Desiderio scored a team-high 20 points for UP while running-mate Jun Manzo added 15 markers.

UP was without rookie Juan Gomez de Liano due to a sprained ankle. Mali student-athlete Ibra Outtara played just nine minutes, struggling from foul trouble and spraining his left ankle later on after a rebounding scrum.

Adamson plays its final game of the round against the FEU Tamaraws on Saturday, November 11 at 4:00pm. UP, on the other hand, will try to upset the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Wednesday, November 8 to keep their hopes alive.

The Scores:

ADU 86 – Sarr 25, Pingoy 15, Ahanmisi 11, Manalang 10, Espeleta 8, Manganti 5, Ochea 4, Hill 4, Camacho 4, Lojera 0, Mustre 0, Bernardo 0, Paranada 0

UP 70 – Desiderio 20, Manzo 15, Gomez de Liano 10, Vito 6, Lim 4, Dario 3, Jaboneta 3, Webb 3, Ouattara 2, Romero 2, Lao 2, Harris 0, Prado 0

Quarterscores: 18-17, 39-31, 69-50, 86-70

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AMA Online Education gets first pick in D-League draft

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The AMA Online Education will once again have the luxury of picking the best talent in the 201-man rookie pool at the 2017 PBA D-League Rookie Draft Tuesday at PBA Cafe in Metrowalk, Pasig.

Flanked by hardworking big man Andre Paras, the Mark Herrera-mentored Titans will have the chance to further fortify their school-based core as they prepare for the upcoming 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, which will see 13 teams vying for the title.

This will be the second time AMA will pick at first overall after tapping Jeron Teng in the 2016 draft proceedings.

UE’s Alvin Pasaol and FEU’s Arvin Tolentino are expected to go high up the draft board, as they are set to make their debut in first conference of the eighth season of the developmental league, set to open on January 18, 2018.

Wangs Basketball-Letran and Batangas-EAC are set to pick second and third, respectively.

Eleven of the 13 squads participating this year will be school-based teams, as they make early preparations for their respective collegiate leagues. These include Zark’s Burgers-Lyceum, Gamboa Coffee-St. Clare, JRU, and CEU, and debuting teams Akari-Adamson, Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian, Perpetual, and Powerball-St. Benilde.

Only returning Marinerong Pilipino and newcomer Mila’s Lechon are the ones who will not feature varsity crews.

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Adamson Pep head coach goes full circle

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When the Adamson Pep Squad were declared as the champions of the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, hysteria filled the jampacked SM Mall of Asia Arena. But no one was more elated than head coach Jeremy Lorenzo.

“Nung na-announce na gold kami sabi ko, ‘Lord, totoo ba ‘to? Gisingin niyo ko!’

“I was really, really speechless, hindi ko alam unang iisipin ko,” he admitted.

Lorenzo has been with the program ever since his 2007. He spent all five of his collegiate years as part of Adamson’s cheer group before returning to the program as head coach last year. Moreover, he still kept his day job to make both ends meet.

Though not being formally trained to be a dance mentor, Lorenzo single-handedly turned the program around. In his first year, Adamson notched its first-ever podium finish.

Coming off a third place finish, the youthful mentor needed to up the ante. And he did so by returning to basics.

“Last year talaga sobrang stepping stone namin kasi nag-second runner up. Talagang na mold namin yung mga bata sa disiplina, spiritually, mentally, physically,” he recalled.

“Then nag start na kami sa difficulty ng cheerleading elements. Hindi kami totally nag-start sa advance, tinry muna namin mild difficulty, then after last year nung nag podium half of the year graduated puro seniors kasi,” he added.

“After that yung rookies at Team B namin, pinasok namin sa same process sa pag mold ng discipline then tinry namin i-step up difficulty from last year then from there sinubukan naming lagpasan routine last year.”

During their performance, almost every single member of the 19,851-strong crowd danced to their beat as their selection turned the arena into a huge dancefloor with his troops lighting it up with an 80’s inspired outfits.

“After kasi nung Polynesian last year nag plan na ako ng possible routine for next year. I was inspired to make an OPM routine kasi sa cheerdance bihira manalo gumamit ng OPM,” he said as the songs he chose included VST and Company classics, “Rock Baby Rock”; “Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko”; “I-Swing Mo Ako”; and “Magsayawan”.

“Why not VST? Tutal very iconic siya sa mga Pinoy and sure akong makaka-relate lahat.

“It’s not how intense or serious your theme is it’s about how you win the hearts of the people. Yun ang pinaka motto ng Adamson — to win hearts and trophies,” he added.

But now that he has steered his alma mater to the top, he still remains grounded. Moreover, Lorenzo was flattered that Adamson Pep is now in the same lines as former champions UST Salinggawi Dance Troup, UP Pep Squad, NU Pep Squad, and FEU Cheering Squad.

“It’s really a complex situation pag mga ganyan. Ang akin kasi, the more na i-strive mo yung dancers mo kung ano talaga yung halaga ng potential ng skills nila,” he reflected. “Hindi nila ma-rerealize yung unless na sumunod sila sayo, unless they see it themselves. Kung mahilera kami sa NU, UP, at UST it’s very flattering and overwhelming.

“Pero we still have more room for improvement pa sinasabi nga bilog ang bola eh.”

Instead, the Adamsonian is just happy to give back to the school that molded him to what he is today.

“Pinaka naging motivation ko yung time sa Adamson nung 2007 until 2012. We were win-less at na-experience ko yung pagiging talo buong college life ko,” he shared.

“Yun yung naging motivation at inspiration ko yung frustration ko — ibawi yung mga panahon na nakaramdam ako ng talo.”

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Adamson Pep takes home first-ever Cheerdance crown

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Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that

After notching their first-ever podium finish last season, the Adamson Pep Squad completely got out of the darkness with an 80’s inspired show of lights and finesse to give Adamson University its first-ever UAAP Cheerdance crown, Saturday evening at the state-of-the-art SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasig City.

For the second time in three years, the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe took home silver with a Crouching Tiger-inspired performance.

The UE Pep Squad finished in third place, taking home bronze and PHP 140,000.

An error-filled start completely doomed defending champions National U Pep Squad from notching a five-peat and even making the podium.

After missing the competition a season ago, the UP Pep Squad’s performance, that was inspired by the stories of the Iskolars ng Bayan, did not finish in the podium for the first time.

In the group stunt competition, the FEU Cheering Squad took home gold — their second championship in the event in four years.

Adamson Pep finished with silver while UP Pep completed the podium in the side event.

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UAAP concludes investigation of DLSU-Adamson game

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After deeply and judiciously reviewing the game tape of the De La Salle University Green Archers-Adamson University Soaring Falcons Final Four game that occurred last November 18, league executive director Rebo Saguisag, speaking on behalf of the league, has concluded that the irregularities and non-calls happened for both sides.

“The stat sheets show that 33 fouls were called against Adamson and 12 were called against La Salle,” the letter penned by Saguisag opened. “While the disparity in statistics tends to suggest biased officiating, it is imperative to focus on whether or not the non-calls were actually incorrect since the disparity in non-calls could be an indication of how the teams played, i.e., one team was more focused on its inside game and lane incursions, while the other team was more predisposed in its perimeter game, among other factors.

“After a thorough review, it appears that there were a number of incorrect non-calls. Particularly there were 10 incorrect non-calls on fouls committed by La Salle. However, there were seven incorrect non-calls on fouls committed by Adamson as well.”

The number of non-calls validated La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo’s post-game statement, saying that the officials were “consistent” for the entire game.

“I told the boys to return the favor because they were doing it in the first quarter,” the second-year tactician said. “Actually, for the whole first half, they kept on doing it, they kept on bumping us and the referees are allowing it. So I told the boys, since they are not calling it, ibato din natin sa kanila.”

“So good thing, the referees were consistent.”

Moreover, a video released online by YouTube channel Ph Ball highlighted the irregularities.

Saguisag is hoping for understanding that the league has no intention to waste the efforts of the student-athletes when a problem like this arises. Moreover, clear and convincing proof must be given before bias can be thrown at the game officials.

“We do understand the frustration of the players, coaches, supporters, and the viewing public in general when the right call is not made. Teams train hard and lay everything on the floor to compete,” the statement furthered.

“The office of the commissioner will never tolerate or condone any conduct, act, or omission that would compromise the integrity of the sport.

“However, bias or partiality on the part of the officials cannot be presumed. Partiality is related to intention which is a mental process, an internal state of mind, that must be judged by the person’s overt acts. This office cannot infer bias or partiality on the basis of errors in judgment. These must be proved with clear and convincing evidence — which, upon meticulous review of the game, are absent in the case,” the statement continued. “To hold otherwise would be to render refereeing untenable, for no one called upon to officiate a sport, where you only have a brief moment to decide (without the benefit of a replay), can be infallible in their judgment.

“With the foregoing, we conclude that while there were errors in officiating, the evidence at hand is insufficient to prove bias or partiality.”

Even with this, Saguisag and the league are not letting referees Borbe, Alejo, and De Luna go unsanctioned. The three are not only out of the pool for the rest of the UAAP Season, including the on-going juniors basketball tournament; they were also slapped with a red flag in case evidence of bad faith arises now or in the future against them.

“That being said, we recognize the importance of having officials who must be able to perform at the highest levels. We also acknowledge the need to maintain public confidence in the league. Further to their preventive suspension (provisional in nature and not based on a finding of guilt), the officials concerned have been heavily reprimanded with a warning of stiffer penalties should evidence of bad faith or malice surface even after this review,” the statement closed.

“They also remain excluded from the pool of referees for the finals series to remove any cloud of doubt in the Finals.”

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