Despite towing their team past a spirited UST squad, there was no celebrating for Adamson’s two heroes last Wednesday in Jerrick Ahanmisi and Papi Sarr.
The Falcons soared to their seventh win of the season to tighten their grip of the third spot in the standings, but the win did not come easy as the Tigers were able to engage them to a thrilling see-saw battle.
After Jeepy Faundo tied the game at 66-all inside the last two minutes of the game, it was the duo who delivered the finishing blows for Adamson with Ahanmisi scoring 11 of his 21 points in the final canto as Sarr converted the game-clinching free throws and put on the crucial stops for the Falcons.
“I know coach Franz is not happy with the way we played today,” Sarr, who tallied in a 12-point, 14-rebound double-double, shared after their close 75-70 victory over the still winless Tigers.
“It’s okay that we won the game, but the problem is the way we were able to get the win.”
Adamson struggled from the field all-game as they converted just 37% from the field while also getting bumped on the boards department with UST outrebounding them 50-42.
The Falcons, however, shot better from long distance, nailing seven triples — three of them from Ahanmisi — but it was UST’s nine misses from the charity stripe that hurt the Tigers’ cause the most.
A loss would have put Adamson at 6-5 and within striking distance of the FEU Tamaraws, a situation that could complicate the Falcons’ rally into the Final Four.
“I think we just knew as a team that we had to win because it’s getting close to the end of the second round,” Ahanmisi told reporters after the game.
It can be recalled that coach Franz Pumaren has a clear directive to his boys to keep themselves in the hunt for a top 2 finish but the second-year coach, despite looking visibly frustrated, know that it is part of the process.
“This particular game is just part and parcel of our learning process of being a young team,” Pumaren, who recovered from a close defeat to defending champions La Salle on weekend, said.