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Falcons’ defense among UAAP’s best in elimination round

At the end of 14 games in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament elimination round, Adamson stood tall on defense. 

A hallmark of a Franz Pumaren squad, the Soaring Falcons’ defense was one of the league’s best, trailing only league-leader Ateneo in many categories.

Seven Adamson players finished with at least 0.5 steals per game to lead the tournament with 8.5 steals every match, with Jerie Pingoy pacing the whole UAAP with a whopping 2.6 steals per outing.

Pingoy, for all his pedigree on offense, made his mark on the other end in his first season with the Falcons, usually pestering the opponents’ backcourt with his stock and speed while also setting the tone by repeatedly picking the pockets of his assignments.

As a team, Adamson held foes to just 73.8 points per game — second to the Blue Eagles’ 73.7 mark — and to 89.89 points per 100 posessions, easily the best in the UAAP.

They did this by blanketing the perimeter with long defenders like Sean Manganti and Tyrus Hill, and shifty wingmen like Jerrick Ahanmisi, Kurt Lojera and Jonathan Espeleta, resulting to the least perimeter points allowed at only 16.9.

The Falcons were also fourth in points allowed in the shaded lane with 36.3 per game even with the absence of a legitimate rim protector.

With their suffocating press, Adamson forced the second-most turnovers with 21.5 miscues per game, while taking advantage of their opponents’ mistakes by converting on 16.9 points off turnovers — third in the league.

All those numbers, however, will be put to the test against La Salle in the Final Four.

And it will be the challenge for Pumaren and crew to fire up a team defense that allowed the Green Archers to average 82.5 points in their two elimination-round battles.

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Franz Pumaren would never use injuries as an excuse

Jerrick Ahanmisi back in training, Jerie Pingoy still recovering