The Adamson Soaring Falcons rallied a gallant stand against the defending champions that fell a tad short as the Ateneo Blue Eagles ran away with the win, 80-74, to keep its record unblemished in UAAP Season 82.
Adamson started strong as it kept its pace against Ateneo early in the game. Led by Camacho’s six rebounds, the Soaring Falcons outrebounded the Blue Eagles in the first two quarters, 24-13. They also shot 43% from the field to take the lead, 37-34, heading into the second half. Joshua Yerro led the charge for the Soaring Falcons early on as he scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half.
It was in the third quarter when Ateneo reignited its championship-level defense to turn the tide to their favor. They outscored Adamson, 29-13, to end the third frame with a 13-point lead.
Jerrick Ahanmisi waxed hot in the latter stages of the match, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the second half. He spearheaded the Soaring Falcons as they uncorked a final run in the fourth quarter to reduce the lead to as low as three points in the dying seconds of the game. However, Mike Nieto sealed the win for Ateneo with his late-game free throws.
Val Chauca scored 17 points to tie Ahanmisi as Adamson’s leading scorer. He also produced seven rebounds and four assists in the loss. Lenda Douanga added 13 points and seven rebounds while Simon Camacho had an all-around game with six points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Thirdy Ravena became the first player from Ateneo to score at least 20 points in a game this season. He produced 23 points, four rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. Will Navarro continued his breakout season with 11 points, eight rebounds and game-high four blocks under his name. Matthew Daves had his best game of the season thus far with 10 points and six rebounds.
With the defeat, the Soaring Falcons extended its losing streak to four. They stayed put in sixth place, tied with UE. Meanwhile, Ateneo extended its winning streak to 19, dating back from Season 81.
The loss came with a silver lining, as Adamson forced Ateneo to play 40 minutes of basketball. This was only the second time the Blue Eagles ended the game this season with a single-digit lead. This should serve as a momentum-builder for the Soaring Falcons as they have to slug it out in the last five games for a shot at the Final Four.
The Soaring Falcons will try to arrest their four-game losing streak on Saturday against the NU Bulldogs at the Mall of Asia Arena.