Adamson may be riding on a three-game winning streak but there is one aspect that they’ve been losing game in and game out: rebounding.
Backstopped by no other than one of the best big men in the league in Papi Sarr, it is an anomaly why the Soaring Falcons have been struggling in the boards department all season long.
Against UP, however, Adamson finally snapped out of that strange rebounding funk, grabbing 49 boards against the Maroons’ 40.
“If we didn’t win this time in the rebounding battle, I’m really gonna lash out on Papi,” coach Franz Pumaren kidded reporters after their 86-70 win over UP.
Sarr put up his best performance of Season 80 last weekend, finishing with a game-high 25 points to go with 17 rebounds. While the Cameroonian center has been consistent in delivering double-double games for Adamson, it wasn’t the same story for the Falcons squad as a whole.
“I guess we really have to put in a lot of emphasis in the rebounding. Just imagine, we won eight games and all those games, we were outrebounded. So I kept harking on my players, what more if you start winning the rebounding battle,” Pumaren added.
With their ninth win of the season, the Falcons have secured a return trip to the Final Four, exceeding their last year’s eliminations record with still a game to go before the playoffs.
“I think we deserve this. We’ve been working hard for this. During the past few games, we really had good practice. We are focused. We enjoyed the game today,” Sarr, who is among the league’s MVP frontrunners at the end of the first round, said.
With only FEU left as their final assignment in the elimination round, Sarr says that they will be treating the game — non-bearing it may be — like a playoff battle.
“I really prepared for that. My mindset now is in the Final Four so I need to prepare myself,” Sarr said.