Not even three and a half quarters in the driver’s seat was enough for Adamson to cruise to a much-needed win.
After leading by double digits in the closing minutes, the Soaring Falcons fell victim to UP’s late-game heroics once more as they lost to the Fighting Maroons, 81-77, on Sunday’s main game at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Adamson used its 29-point third-quarter outburst to take control of the game in the second half. They were able to build its lead to as high as 12 points midway through the final frame. But just when the Soaring Falcons were about to run away with the victory, the Fighting Maroons unleashed a 21-5 run to steal the win.
Jun Manzo led UP’s last stand, as he ended the game with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal for the player of the game citation. Kobe Paras led all scorers with 21 points, while Bright Akhuetie had a double-double performance with 12 points, 11 boards, and six assists. Juan Gomez de Liaño and Ricci Rivero chipped in a total of 22 markers built on five triples.
The Soaring Falcons had a great start, as they ended the first quarter with an eight-point lead. They capitalized on their defense, as they forced UP to commit seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Fighting Maroons fought back with an excellent showing in the second frame to reduce Adamson’s lead to one by halftime.
Val Chauca led the Soaring Falcons in scoring with 19 points, 11 of which came from the first quarter. Simon Camacho had 11 points and seven rebounds, while Jerrick Ahanmisi had 13 markers and six boards in a losing effort.
With the loss, Adamson now holds a 4-7 card for solo sixth in the standings, just a win behind FEU and DLSU. In danger of bowing out of the Final Four race, the Soaring Falcons need to sweep their remaining three games to close out with an even record by the end of the elimination round.