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Adamson must flip the switch to end the first round

Still remember Lenda Dounga’s game-winner against NU? The catch. The shot by the person least expected to take the heave from deep. The thousands of spectators locked in on the ball as it traveled towards the hoop. The collective gasp by the arena in what felt like a lifetime worth of anticipation. The swish—nothing but the bottom of the net.

It was a wild sequence that sent the entire Araneta Coliseum on a frenzy. The Falcons took back the game that almost slipped out of their hands. After losing to Ateneo three days before, Adamson finally barged into the win column.

The victory didn’t come easy, though. Behind Lenda’s 26-19 statline, it seemed as if the Falcons would cruise to a win. Instead, the game was a back-and-forth affair, as NU didn’t back down against a team that narrowly missed the finals last season. Adamson needed all four quarters and a stroke of luck to dispatch a young Bulldogs squad.

It’s been three weeks since Lenda made the shot that rocked the entire UAAP. It was a glorious moment. However, the noise quickly faded into the background. The Falcons won big against UE, lost by a point against UP, came back from a double-digit deficit against UST, and dropped another game La Salle. A character-building victory followed by a deflating loss. Six games into the season, Adamson has yet to bring out its best form yet. This weekend, they’ll play their last game of the first round with hopes that they could hold on to the fourth spot with an above-.500 record.

While their defense was close to last season’s performance, their offense hadn’t fully broken out just yet, perhaps outside the explosions of newcomers Dounga and Val Chauca, both of whom were pleasant surprises for Adamson this season.

That’s the scary thing about the Falcons though. They may be hovering around the middle of the pack to end the first round, yet there’s this feeling that they can offer more than what the standings currently show. All it takes is a great game, even a great run for them to disrupt the current status quo in the league.

Perhaps, the time to flip that switch is now.

On Saturday, the Falcons will go for their fourth win in Season 82 against FEU. The game couldn’t be more perfectly timed as the Tamaraws are currently on a rough stretch, with recent losses against UST and NU.

A business-as-usual defense for Adamson might be enough to stop the Tamaraws, which produced the lowest scoring output this season in its previous outing. The Falcons are currently at the upper half of the league in opponents’ field goal percentage (36%) and turnovers per game (16). Even if FEU’s best asset this season is their three-point shooting, they will go up against Adamson’s defense that allow the lowest conversion rate from deep.

Adamson’s offense might be as good though, maybe even better. The three-pronged attack of Chauca, Dounga and Jerrick Ahanmisi has been effective so far for the Falcons. With a 42-point combined points average, expect that these three will continue to carry the scoring load for Adamson.

The Falcons need a dominant game and a convincing win that would build the momentum as they enter the second round. The next game against FEU will be the perfect time for the Falcons to bring out their best game this season yet.

Now is the time to soar high again.

Now is the time to finally flip that switch.

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