With a 91 – 80 win over the UE Red Warriors, the Adamson Soaring Falcons improved to a 2 – 1 record, but the players and coaches were not eager to celebrate just yet as they knew more work had to be done before they are competing at the level they want to be in.
Long range gunner Jerrick Ahanmisi broke out of his 2-game slump against the Warriors, draining a total of 7 triples throughout the game, all while attacking the basket from all sides. For his aggressiveness, Ahanmisi tied his UAAP career high of 28 points, just in the nick of time for the Soaring Falcons who never seemed to really gain control of the game despite the comfortable final score.
At the start of the game, the Soaring Falcons made a conscious effort to feed last game’s buzzer beating hero, Lenda Douanga, in the post. But good ball denial from the UE Red Warriors forced point guard Valandre Chauca to create for himself. Things began to get out of hand for the Falcons as they had difficulty containing the craftiness of UE’s scorers like Rey Suerte and John Apacible in the post. The veteran Apacible used his experience to force his way into the paint and score on the much taller Lenda Douanga, even forcing coach Franz’ hand in calling Lenda back to the bench due to foul trouble.
Fortunately for the Soaring Falcons the reserves stepped up. Vince Magbuhos and Adrian Manlapaz strung together a short run to close out the first quarter and cut the Warriors lead down to 2 points.
With Lenda riding the bench due to foul trouble, it was Jerrick Ahanmisi who answered the call to step up. In the second quarter alone, Jerrick scored 10 points off 2 triples and even shared his blessings by dishing off a sweet no-look pass to Kristian Bernardo for the easy layup.
The scoring outburst led the Falcons to a 44-38 lead at halftime, but at no point did it feel like the game was in the bag. Talented scorers Rey Suerte and Jed Mendoza kept UE in the game with timely buckets. Defensive breakdowns from the Falcons even allowed Suerte to find John Apacible open underneath the basket for easy stabs multiple times.
It took Jerom Lastimosa’s stellar defensive effort and playmaking ability for the Falcons to hold on to their lead. The nails in the coffin came at the hands Lastimosa who knocked down two final free throws after a valiant comeback attempt by UE.
Coach Franz Pumaren was happy with the win but recognized that the Soaring Falcons were far from being in their best shape. “We’re really struggling to find the chemistry,” said coach Franz about his team of players, a lot of whom are coming straight off high school programs. “The goal is to fast track the development of this team,” he added.
Meanwhile Jerrick Ahanmisi is happy to be out of his slump, doing what he does best shooting threes and getting buckets. His 28 point outing ties his career high which came in his debut game in the UAAP. He will look to repeat his performance on Sunday as they face the team he dropped those 28 points on the first time, UP.
Jerrick Ahanmisi still remembers the sting of losing to the Maroons in the Final Four of Season 81 and will use that feeling as extra motivation for their Sunday showdown.
photo credit: UAAP @uaap_official (Twitter)