The Adamson Soaring Falcons will try to snap its four-game losing skid four as it faces the gritty NU Bulldogs on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
During their first meeting, the Adamson faced NU in one of Season 82’s epic battles. The young NU squad never backed down against Adamson, who was considered an early Final Four favorite. No team clearly separated itself from the other, as the game went to overtime. In the end, the match was decided by just one point, thanks to Lenda Douanga’s buzzer-beating triple.
As the second round goes on, Adamson will battle NU on the court once more. This time though, the Soaring Falcons will not only aim to survive the game but to salvage their season as well. The San Marcelino-based squad currently stands sixth in the league with a 3-6 record. A win will boost their chances to stay on the hunt for a spot in the Final Four.
The win will not come easy for the Soaring Falcons though, as they will battle the Bulldogs, a team that is probably on the rise. NU is coming off its second win of the season against the FEU Tamaraws. Once a winless team, they are now only three wins behind top-two UP Fighting Maroons.
Adamson hopes that Jerrick Ahanmisi will carry over his brilliant performance against Ateneo into their next game. Ahanmisi got his rhythm going later in that game as he sank three triples en route to his 15-point explosion in the second half.
Lenda Douanga and Val Chauca are also expected to give huge contributions to spare their team from early elimination. Douanga was instrumental in Adamson’s first-round victory against NU. Aside from the game-winner, he scored 26 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead his team in both departments. On the other hand, Chauca showed in the last game that he was more than just putting the ball in the basket. Adamson’s leading scorer posted 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in an all-around effort against the defending champions.
Dave Ildefonso and Issa Gaye will have their targets on their backs against Adamson. The younger half of the Demolition Brothers torched the Soaring Falcons in their first-round matchup with 29 points, including the last four that almost gave his team the win. Gaye also contributed 16 markers in that close defeat. Both players are coming off great performances, as they combined for 43 points and 21 rebounds in their overtime win against the Tamaraws.
With about three weeks remaining in the elimination round, the entire league outside of Ateneo are currently tangled in a tightly contested race to the Final Four. The seven squads are currently separated from each other only by at most three wins. For Adamson, they are currently 1.5 games away from fourth-place DLSU. A win by the Soaring Falcons will catapult them back in the tightly contested Final Four race.