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Tiebreaker Times


Ochea game-winner with 1.9 seconds remaining stuns Ateneo

Adamson University handed a double blackeye to the Ateneo de Manila University.

Adamson team captain Dawn Ochea converted his only field goal of the game with just 1.9 seconds remaining to cap a strong fourth quarter rally by the Soaring Falcons in a 61-60 win over the Blue Eagles, Saturday afternoon at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

This win is Adamson’s first win against Ateneo in the Men’s Basketball division since the second round of Season 74.

“This is what I miss about college basketball. The excitement,” first year Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren shared about the thriller.

“It was a really good game. It was a well-planned game between Coach Tab [Baldwin] and Adamson.”

Filipino-American floor general Robbie Manalang led the Adamson rally, scoring 10 of his 15 points in the final frame. Fellow rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi added 13 points, while Cameroonian student-athlete Papi Sarr notched another double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds.

But it was Adamson team captain Dawn Ochea who played the role of hero in the game.

“That was a tough game for me,” Manalang added. “It was just about us executing our plays that we worked so hard for.”

The Blue Eagles were up comfortably by 10 points heading into the final frame, 56-46. Sarr sparked Adamson’s surge with four points to start the quarter and cut the lead to just six with 7:37 remaining.

Manalang then took charge for the San Marcelino cagers as he scored 10 straight points, including back-to-back triples, to tie the game at 60-all with 2:20 remaining.

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“They could have easily folded up but they showed me what they are all about,” Pumaren narrated.

On the other end, Ateneo’s shooting went sour during the stretch. A putback by Raffy Verano and Chibueze Ikeh, with seven and six minutes remaining respectively, were the last two fields goals by Ateneo in the quarter.

After Manalang’s second three of the quarter, Simon Camacho then had a lapse in judgment, fouling Ikeh with 1:46 remaining. The big man split his free throws to give Ateneo a one-point edge.

Needing a stop, Sarr did not back down from a switch against Matt Nieto, eventually pickpocketing the ball to return the possession to Adamson with 27 seconds remaining. With three more fouls to give, Nieto exhausted that count and gave the Soaring Falcons just 4.1 seconds to throw up a shot.

That’s when coach Franz Pumaren decided to send team captain Dawn Ochea back onto the court.

“Dawn Ochea made me a coaching genius,” Pumaren reflected. “If I can recall, we had a particular practice game and we designed the same play. But in that game, Dawn was gun-shy during that game.”

Ochea, who had been plagued by fouls the entire game, received the ball from inbounder Jonathan Espeleta and, with no hesitation, knocked down a turnaround jumper over the outstretched arms of Vince Tolentino with 1.9 seconds remaining to stun the Blue Eagles. This was the senior’s only field goal of the game.

“Binawi ko lang. Yung shot na yung binawi ko lang from out tune-up game before. Hindi ko alam gagawin ko nun,” Adamson’s skipper shared.

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After an Ateneo timeout, Adrian Wong threw a lob to the waiting Thirdy Ravena on the post, but his fadeaway bounced off the rim. The Blue Eagles had been handed their second loss in four games.

Anton Asistio led the Blue Eagles with 12 markers, but was just 4-of-13 from the field. Kris Porter added eight points for Ateneo.

The Adamson Soaring Falcons (2-1) will next face the National University Bulldogs (2-0) on Wednesday, September 21, at 4:00pm. On the other hand, the Ateneo Blue Eagles (2-2) look to bounce back on Saturday, September 24, against the University of the East Red Warriors (0-2) at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

ADU (62) – Manalang 15, Ahanmisi 13, Sarr 13, Manganti 6, Espeleta 4, Mustre 4, Bernardo 3, Tungcab 2, Ochea 2, Camacho 0, Pasturan 0, Chua 0, Ng 0, Paranada 0.

ADMU (61) – Asistio 12, Porter 8, Nieto Mi 7, Nieto Ma 7, Tolentino 6, Ikeh 5, Mendoza 5, Wong 4, Verano 4, Ravena 3, Babilonia 0, Go 0.

Quarterscores: 21-15, 35-35, 46-56, 62-61.

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