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Déjà Vu! Adamson gains first season win over UP once more

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In an encore to the second round of last season’s UAAP tournament, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons scored their first win of the season against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.

Hotshot Adamson wingman Jerome Garcia was on fire to start the game. Garcia scored four of the team’s first seven points to gain a 7-4 lead. This early spurt was a sign of things to come in the game. Just like in their first six games, the Fighting Maroons continued their offensive struggles as the team found it hard to convert on easy baskets. Floor general William Polican ended the quarter with a rainbow to give the Falcons a 21-14 lead to end the opening quarter.

To open the second quarter, Diego Dario tried to ignite a UP rally in finding Pio Longa for a corner triple while dishing out to a cutting Cheick Kone for a dunk. However, Garcia blistered the UP defense with a scintillating scoring spree. Garcia erupted for 13 points in the quarter, that included three conversions from downtown. In addition, JD Tungcab drove through the lanes for easy baskets that destroyed the UP zone. To add to UP’s misery, big man Jerson Prado fell to an injury at the 3:04 mark after a rebounding battle against Papi Sarr. The Adamson lead went to game-high 47-28 to enter halftime.

Former U-16 national team player Paul Desiderio, knowing that they needed to make a rally, carried the team on his back. Desiderio drove hard through the lanes for easy baskets and free throws to cut the lead to half with 4:22 to go in the third. After another Garcia triple to extend the lead to 13 once more, the young Falcons could not maintain their composure as the team was called for two technical fouls in the last 20 seconds of the third canto. A technical was called on Cristian Garcia for excessive swinging of elbows while Alvin Margallo was called for a T for pointing at a referee. Longa made both free throws to cut the Adamson lead to 11, 57-46 to enter the final quarter.

After a Longa three, team captain Dawn Ochea was called for the team’s third technical for illegal eye-guarding. While head coach Mike Fermin was penalized with another technical at the 7:35 mark. These calls greatly rattled the Falcons as their defense failed to cover the UP slashers. Desiderio then went into overdrive in scoring seven in a 16-4 blast capped by a three pointer by Dave Moralde that gave UP its first lead of the game 62-61. Senior Joseph Nalos stabilized his team with a layup while another three-pointer by Garcia qulled the bleeding for Adamson to regain the lead 68-64. Reaching the penalty early spelled the doom for UP as free throws from Tungcab and Garcia closed the win for the San Marcelino cagers 73-68.

“Let’s end the first round with the win,” Coach Mike Fermin disclosed to the members of the press after the game. “The rookie coach gave credit to his boys especially Jerome Garcia. “It’s about time he breaks out. Siya yung inaasahan namin na scoscore sa amin to start the season.” Fermin added that,” pinush namin siya sa limit niya.”

For Garcia, he gave credit to his coach who gave him confidence to shoot. “Kahit nagmimintis ako ng mga tira, kahit pagalitan niya ako, binibigyan pa rin ako ng confidence ni coach,” he said.

“Maganda ang momentum na nakuha namin from FEU. Kulang lang talaga sa maturity but we promise to win more than one game,” Fermin closed.

The Adamson Soaring Falcons were led by Jerome Garcia’s 26 huge points. He was 8 of 15 from the field, including 5/10 from downtown. Joseph Nalos added 15 points while Pape Sarr grabbed 15 boards.

Paul Desiderio notched a career-high 26 points as well in a losing cause. Smart Elite ambassador Jett Manuel had another disappointing scoreless outing in just nine minutes of play.

As a team, UP shot better from the field at 36% compared to the victor’s 34.38%. Free throws made the difference as Adamson shot 20/33 compared to just 7/14 for the hosts.

With the win, the Soaring Falcons end the first round with a 1-6 slate while the Fighting Maroons fall to seventh with a 2-5 record.

The Scores:

ADU (73) – Garcia 26, Nalos 15, Tungcab 13, Sarr 8, Polican 5, Ochea 4, Margallo 2, Camacho 0, Garcia 0, Ng 0, Villanueva 0

UP (68) – Desiderio 26, Longa 9, Jaboneta 7, Dario 6, Amar 4, Kone 4, Prado 4, Moralde 3, Vito 3, Asilum 2, Harris 0, Juruena 0, Lim 0, Manuel 0

Quarters: 21-14, 47-28, 57-46, 73-68.

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