Adamson University utilized a huge second half fightback to eliminate Ateneo High School, 84-75, and advance to the second phase of the UAAP Season 82 Boys Basketball Stepladder, Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Down one entering the fourth quarter, the Baby Falcons torched Ateneo with an 18-2 blast — capped by Jake Figueroa’s layup off a steal — to take a commanding 15-point advantage with 5:53 left, 75-60.
Lebron Lopez and Forthsky Padrigao then joined hands to cut the Adamson lead to just nine with 2:18 left, 79-70. However, they could not make their shots down the stretch, as Adamson walked away with the victory.
“Halftime, we committed tougher defense. They had their way nung first half, tapos relax lang kami. Ang usapan namin, pahirapan sila at medyo nag-click. Tapos nakaratsada na,” said Baby Falcons coach Mike Fermin.
Trailing 29-14 midway through the second frame, Adamson launched a 15-2 comeback. Nicole Quinal and John Erolon’s back-to-back treys then sliced the deficit to just two at the break, 31-29.
Rookie MVP Figueroa unloaded a monster double-double with 15 points and 22 rebounds, on top of four assists, four blocks, and two steals.
John Erolon uncorked 16 markers built on four triples to go with five boards and five dimes, while Ruzzell Dominguez had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Joshua Barcelona was a sparkplug off the bench with 10 markers and 10 boards.
Besides advancing to the semis, Adamson has also qualified for the 2020 Chooks-to-Go National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) National Finals.
Padrigao tallied 22 points, eight dimes and two steals for Ateneo. On the other hand, Lebron Lopez was held to 13 markers, four boards, and seven blocks after incurring three fouls in the first half.
Joaquin Jaymalin got 20 points and seven rebounds while Josh Lazaro had 12 markers, 10 boards, and six rejections.
The Baby Falcons will square off against the twice-to-beat FEU-Diliman on the stepladder second phase, which will be played on a later date after all UAAP games were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
AdU 84 — Erolon 16, Figueroa 15, Dominguez 13, Quinal 13, Guarino 11, Barcelona 10, Cosal 6, Hanapi 0.
AHS 75 — Padrigao 22, Jaymalin 20, Lopez 13, Lazaro 12, Espinosa 4, Ladimo 2, G. Salvador 2, Corral 0, De Ayre 0, Nieto 0, Pangilinan 0, M. Salvador 0.
Quarterscores: 8-22, 29-31, 57-58, 84-75.