Amidst chants of “luto” by a disgruntled UP crowd, Adamson let its game do the talking.
The Soaring Falcons buried the Fighting Maroons with a big run to start the third quarter then quelled the Diliman side’s last hurrah to run away with an 86-70 win Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Papi Sarr dominated UP’s platoon of big men to punch out a sensational 25-point, 17-rebound performance while Jerie Pingoy controlled the tempo on both ends to deliver 15 points, four rebounds, eight assists and six steals.
With the victory, Adamson locked up the third seed in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball semifinals.
The Falcons survived an early barrage of triples by the Maroons, as Sarr imposed his height and heft down low.
And as UP’s key cogs Paul Desiderio and Ibrahim Ouattara were bothered by foul trouble, the San Marcelino cagers started to draw separation.
Adamson’s biggest run, however, was with Desiderio on the court, as the Falcons unleashed a 21-6 burst to big the third quarter, turning what was a 39-31 advantage into a 60-37 bubble.
Sarr and Pingoy combined for 16 points in that telling attack, with the Maroons unraveling in a series of almost-altercations.
Desiderio tried to spearhead a thrilling UP comeback, with a booming triple and an and-one play sandwiching a Pingoy free-throw to trim it to 74-66.
Adamson, however, would not be denied.
With Franz Pumaren bringing back his starters, the Falcons delivered a brutal knockout punch by way of a 12-0 run that quashed the Maroons’ hopes and brought the lead back to 86-66.
Ahanmisi added 11 points and four rebounds while Rob Manalang had 10 points for Adamson, which made 25 of 28 free-throws — an impressive 89.3%.
Desiderio, on the other hand, top scored for UP with 20 points while Jun Manzo and Javi Gomez de Liano contributed 15 and 10 markers, respectively.