Sweet-shooting Jingky Balasta once again saved the day for the Adamson University Lady Falcons, shaking off a slow start in the first half to sink three big three-point baskets in the fourth quarter and erase a monster third-quarter rally by the University of the Philippines Fighting Lady Maroons to take the 59-47 win, Sunday at the Blue Eagle Gym on Katipunan Avenue.
Both teams figured in an uneventful first half, with both teams struggling to find the easy shot. Though Adamson would begin to pull away in the second quarter, holding UP to a dismal four points, the squad from San Marcelino would only manage to score nine points themselves. Adamson would head into the second half with a 19-13 edge to end one of the lowest-scoring first halfs in the season so far.
The third quarter would however open on a much different note, as UP would rally to close in on Adamson, 21-22 in only three minutes of play. Adamson’s Balasta would however answer back, drilling a series of fastbreaks to put Adamson back up 30-22 in the next two minutes. UP’s Christine Aliermo and Bea Daez would however keep the baskets coming for UP, eventually forcing a 35-all deadlock in the final thirty seconds of the quarter. A breakaway basket from Adamson’s Josephine Ong in the final play however would put the Falcons back up 37-35 heading into the final period of the game.
Still fired up from last quarter’s rally, Bea Daez would drill in a three a minute into the ballgame to give UP their first taste of the lead, 38-37. A layup by Adamson’s Thea Amper and a split free-throw opportunity from Daez would lead to another deadlock, 39-39, with little under eight minutes on the clock. After a missed basket from UP, a fadeaway three on the fastbreak by Jingky Balasta would put the Lady Falcons back up 42-39. Janille de Castro would block a UP layup attempt in the next play, and Adamson, with possession of the ball, would find Balasta beyond the arc once more. Balasta would drain another three-pointer to give Adamson the lead, 45-39. With UP’s scorers losing steam, Balasta and de Castro would continue keep the rally alive for Adamson. Another three by Balasta with 2:04 on the clock would give Adamson the 52-41 lead. Though UP would manage to slow the Lady Falcons down after resorting to fouling, Adamson’s free-throw shooters would manage to drill in the extra points and seal the victory.
Balasta had 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists for Adamson. Janeena Tatel and Bea Daez had 8 points apiece for the Lady Maroons. Adamson’s bid for play-off contention remains alive as they climb to 5-5. UP meanwhile fall to 0-9 having yet to win a game in the tournament so far.