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UAAP 86 HSBB: Justine Garcia steers Adamson past FEU-D to clinch Final Four berth


Adamson University bested defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman, 76-66, to secure the first Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 86 high school boys basketball tournament Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Justine Garcia, returning after missing the previous game due to an ankle injury he sustained a week ago, was solid in helping the Baby Falcons in securing their ninth win overall with 14 points, four assists, and two steals. He also did not commit a single turnover in 23 minutes of action off the bench.

“Malaking bagay siya. Siguro mga, sabihin natin mga 40 percent or 35 percent ng opensa, nag-eevolve sa kanya. Nata-touch niya yung bola so kapag sa kanya, may positibong nangyayari,” said Adamson coach Mike Fermin on Garcia.

“Ang sabi lang namin sa kanya, as needed ka ha, kasi masakit pa ang paa niya. Actually hindi pa siya 100 percent, sabi ko as needed. Pero tough guy, tough kid. Sabi niya: ‘Laro ako. Laro ako. Gusto kong maglaro.’ Sabi ko, kung maglalaro ka, kapag pumasok ka, hindi lang 80 percent, 100 percent ka. Yung paa niya, hindi pa ganoong ka-heal, medyo swollen pa. Nakita ninyo, 100 percent ang laro, nakakatuwa ang bata,” he added.

Vince Reyes, who led the Baby Falcons with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, was simply happy to see Garcia back in harness.

“Malaking tulong sa amin iyon kasi mas natutulungan niya kami at nakakapag-participate siya uli. Talagang inaasahan namin siya,” said Reyes.

Veejay Pre came through with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Dwyne Miranda chipped in 11 points, five boards, and three steals for the Baby Tamaraws.

UAAP86-HSBB-Daryl-Valdeavilla-0164 UAAP 86 HSBB: Justine Garcia steers Adamson past FEU-D to clinch Final Four berth ADMU AdU Basketball DLSU FEU News NU UAAP UE UP UST  - philippine sports newsIn other games, UP Integrated School finally entered the win column with a come-from-behind 80-71 victory over University of the East.

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National University Nazareth School opened a two-game lead over University of Santo Tomas in the race for the second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four with an 85-75 victory.

De La Salle-Zobel ended a six-game losing skid with a 92-79 conquest of fabled rival Ateneo.

The Bullpups solidified their hold of the second spot with an 8-2 record, while the third-running Tiger Cubs fell to 6-4.

“Very crucial itong game na ito kasi malaking bagay ang twice-to-beat eh, ini-aim namin ang Top 2. And at the same time tinalo nila kami noong first round, additional motivation para sa kanila. Happy ako kasi kita mong tinabraho talaga nila,” coach Kevin de Castro said after NUNS avenged its 78-85 defeat to UST last Dec. 17.

Daryl Valdeavilla scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, while Jaime Gomez de Liaño had a double-double outing of 14 points and 10 rebounds that went along with four assists, two steals, and two blocks for the Junior Fighting Maroons.

The win ended UPIS’ 22-game losing streak. Before this one, the last time Junior Fighting Maroons emerged triumphant was in last year’s season opener against the Junior Warriors, 101-94, in overtime last Jan. 15, 2023.

UPIS coach Paolo Mendoza was satisfied to see his players’ hard work paid off despite having to deal with a six or seven-man rotation.

“Masaya kasi given the situation, na alam naman ng buong team na they have to be tired the whole game. Credit sa kanilang lahat,” said Mendoza.

The youngest team in the league, the process continues for the Junior Fighting Maroons, who were more competitive this season than last year.

“The maturity, growth and learning. Kagaya si Daryl, yung leadership na lang niya. Even yung 26 points niya, very hard sa kanya kasi yung injury niya. Nagdadalawang-isip pa nga kami kung ilalaro pa niya today. But credit talaga sa leadership niya. Yung heart, nandoon,” said Mendoza.

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“Yun ang hinahanap namin, yung maturity as we move forward,” he added.

UE and Ateneo fell to 4-6, trailing a game behind FEU-D in the race for the last Final Four berth.

UAAP86-HSBB-Collins-Akowe-1734 UAAP 86 HSBB: Justine Garcia steers Adamson past FEU-D to clinch Final Four berth ADMU AdU Basketball DLSU FEU News NU UAAP UE UP UST  - philippine sports newsNigerian center Collins Akowe was at his usual element with 16 points and 24 boards, and the Bullpups were able to get support from surprise starter Alnhumaeri Usop, who logged 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

Chad Cartel also had 14 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the three-point area aside from putting the clamps on Wacky Ludovice in the second half.

“Yung message na sinabi sa kanila ni Coach Jeff (Napa) na: ‘It’s not about Collins Akowe. It’s all about our team, the NU Bullpups. Kahit paano naging maganda yung speech ni Coach Jeff before the game. At least, kahit paano, nagising sila,” said De Castro.

Andrei Dungo led the Tiger Cubs with 26 points, six rebounds, and three steals.

UAAP86-HSBB-Kieffer-Alas-Waki-Espina-Maco-Dabao-3077 UAAP 86 HSBB: Justine Garcia steers Adamson past FEU-D to clinch Final Four berth ADMU AdU Basketball DLSU FEU News NU UAAP UE UP UST  - philippine sports newsAs Kieffer Alas struggled offensively with a 4-of-17 shooting, Waki Espina and Maco Dabao stepped up big time, combining for 53 points as the Junior Archers secured their third win in 10 games.

It also helped that the Blue Eagles big man Kris Porter was fouled out with 5:01 left in the game.

“I have to commend my players because remember, we are on a losing streak. It’s hard to coach a team when you are on a losing streak. But you know what, they kept their heads up. They kept their hearts intact and we were able to pull off a win against Ateneo,” said La Salle-Zobel coach Boris Aldeguer.

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Espina had 27 points, six assists, and five rebounds while Dabao added 26 points, four rebounds, and three assists for the Junior Archers. Alas had a double-double of 17 points and 12 boards and dished out four assists.

The Scores

First Game
UPIS (80) – Valdeavilla 26, Gomez de Liaño 14, Melicor 14, Egea 13, Tubongbanua 10, Coronel 3, Pascual 0.
UE (71) – Sarza 16, Sabroso 16, Alejandro 13, De Leon 9, Lagat 5, Cuevas 4, Almanza 3, Despi 3, Pedrita 2, Dahino 0, Datumalim 0, Farochilen 0, Malonzo 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16, 35-48, 52-61, 80-71

Second Game
AdU (76) – Reyes 16, Garcia 14, Esperanza 13, Medina 12, Umali 6, Sajili 5, Bonzalida 4, Carillo 4, Perez 2, Artango 0, Abayon 0, De Jesus 0, Tumaneng 0.
FEU-D (66) – Pre 26, Miranda 11, Burgos 9, Cabonilas 8, Godoy 5, Pascual 5, Miller 2, Daa 0, Herbito 0, Cabigting 0, Gordon 0, Mecha 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 41-31, 57-50, 76-66

Third Game
NUNS (85) – Akowe 16, Cartel 14, Usop 14, Nepacena 12, Tagotongan 9, Alfanta 8, Pillado 6, Yusi 6, Barraca 0, Reroma 0, Palanca 0, Solomon 0, Figueroa 0.
UST (75) – Dungo 26, Ludovice 14, Buenaflor 10, Verzosa 7, Manding 5, Lim 3, Bucsit 3, Reyes 3, Velasquez 2, Ronquillo 2, Esteban 0, Loreto 0.
Quarterscores: 14-11, 41-38, 71-55, 85-75

Fourth Game
DLSZ (92) – Espina 27, Dabao 26, Alas 17, Gubat 6, Dimaano 5, Atienza 3, Daja 3, Cruz 2, Lopez 2, Favis 1, Arboleda 0, Sta. Maria 0, Domangcas 0.
Ateneo (79) – Porter 26, Urbina 15, Lagdamen 10, Madrangca 9, Espinas 9, Ebdane 6, Delos Santos 2, Ong 2, Asistio 0, Suico 0, Tan 0, Prado 0.
Quarterscores: 15-18, 41-37, 53-63, 92-79

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