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Birthday boy Suerte gifts UE second straight win at Adamson’s expense


A day after his 25th birthday, Rey Suerte linked up with Alex Diakhite to lift the University of the East to an 80-74 victory over the Adamson University Soaring Falcons in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Red Warriors duo were unstoppable in the second half. Together, they came one point shy of matching the Soaring Falcons’ total production in the final two frames.

Diakhite unloaded a career-high 29 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks, while Suerte clocked in 26 points, seven boards, and three assists.

UE have now won back-to-back games to pull even with Adamson with identical 3-5 cards.

“We got lucky today — we got breaks, and the players refused to lose. We know that Adamson has a good team with a legendary coach [but] we beat them with effort,” said UE active consultant Lawrence Chongson.

The Diakhite-Suerte tandem was instrumental in the Red Warriors’ 17-6 run. They turned the game from a 50-48 deficit for their side to a commanding 65-56 lead with 8:59 left to play.

Jerrick Ahanmisi then rallied the Soaring Falcons and got to within one, 69-68 with 5:28 remaining. But the UE tandem was just too much, restoring order at 77-71, with 1:53 left.

It wasn’t just the terrible twosome who delivered, though. Chris Conner adding seven points, two rebounds, and an assist, while Philip Manalang tallied five points, six boards, and three assists in the win.

“It was a team effort. The coaches did their part, the players did their part, and even the bench players,” said head coach Bong Tan.

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Lenda Douanga nabbed 16 points and 17 rebounds, while Jerom Lastimosa had 16 points, six boards, and two assists for Adamson.

Shooters Ahanmisi and Valandre Chauca were both atrocious from the field, making a combined 8-of-30 clip.

The Soaring Falcons have now lost three straight games.

The Red Warriors look to continue their run when they face the UST Growling Tigers on Wednesday, October 9 at 12:30 pm. Meanwhile, Adamson take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles on the same day at 4:00 pm. Both games take place at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.


The Scores:

UE 80 – Diakhite 29, Suerte 26, Conner 7, Manalang 5, Abanto 3, Antiporda 3, Lorenzana 3, Apacible 2, Tolentino 2, Cruz 0, Pagsanjan 0.

ADU 74 — Douanga 16, Lastimosa 16, Ahanmisi 11, Camacho 11, Chauca 9, Bernardo 3, Fermin 2, Manlapaz 2, Mojica 2, Yerro 2, Flowers 0, Magbuhos 0, Sabandal 0.

Quarterscores: 18-22, 31-36, 59-56, 80-74.

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