In a season dominated by Ateneo and UP, Adamson cuts a slice of the spotlight for itself


Matt Erolon of Adamson celebrates his clutch triple. —UAAP MEDIA

Matt Erolon of Adamson celebrates his clutch triple. —UAAP MEDIA

With Ateneo riding a record live streak and University of the Philippines (UP) flexing the might of its talent-laden roster, it’s been tough for other teams to bask in the limelight.

A little revenge victory, scripted in ice-cold fashion, is a good way to grab headlines.

Adamson put an end to its slump as Matt Erolon drained a three-pointer in the final three seconds of a 64-63 thriller over Far Eastern University (FEU) on Tuesday in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia arena.

“It’s always a nice feeling when you win of course,” said Adamson head coach Nash Racela.

It was only the second win for the Falcons in eight games, but the way they pulled it off was enough of a highlight alongside a pair of victories—what’s new?—from the Blue Eagles and Maroons.

And it wasn’t just because Erolon scored a total of five points in the game despite playing for just 12 seconds. It was that Adamson avenged a similarly heartbreaking 66-65 loss to FEU just last week, when Tamaraws rookie RJ Abarrientos drilled the game-clinching triple against the Falcons.

“Now we know how coach Olsen [Racela, Nash’s brother] felt that last time we played them,” Racela said.

The victory won’t alter Adamson’s course much. Neither will it change the current trend in the season.

It’s still Ateneo, UP

Ateneo remains a favorite to run away with the title and showed no signs of slowing down after dumping La Salle, 75-68, while UP continues to tail the defending champions after turning back National University (NU), 84-76.

The Eagles broke out of a tight first half as BJ Andrade and SJ Belangel drained clutch treys, taking leads of as many as 17 in the third quarter.

“We were not allowed to play our game [in the first half] and I think La Salle played an outstanding job,” added Baldwin. “But our press really helped us out, we got some easy points and got the separation, that changed the complexion of the game.”

It was also the Eagles 34th straight victory overall, the longest winning stretch in recent UAAP history.

La Salle took its third loss in eight games.

Strong start

UP coach Goldwin Monteverde, meanwhile, credited the win to the team’s strong start which he described as the best in all its games, so far.

“But in the third quarter, we had so many turnovers so we need to see how we can improve,” Monteverde, whose wards rose to 7-1 (win-loss), said. “We still have a lot to learn and we need to find out what so we can move [forward].”

UP’s talented 6-foot-7 big man Carl Tamayo, who is a product of NU’s high school program, finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three steals and added a warning that the Maroons’ depth may not be enough to get them over the hum this season.

“We have Zav [Lucero], Ricci [Rivero], Noah [Webb], we are a loaded team,” said Tamayo. “The challenge for a team with those talents is to work and win games.”

“We hope to keep getting a strong start and not allow teams to come back as the quarters go,” said Lucero, who finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

University of Santo Tomas went through tribulations against a University of the East (UE) desperate for a win before prevailing, 72-61.

Coach Jinino Manansala said they will reflect on their poor shooting and errors over the Holy Week break in preparation for the game against powerhouse La Salle next Tuesday.

“We will watch this game again, we will try to improve on what we lacked today,” said Manansala. “Every game is a must-win for us, but we really want to be prepared against La Salle next week.”

The Tigers caught up with the Tamaraws in the standings at 3-5, just a game behind the Bulldogs, who fell to 4-4.

Sherwin Concepcion knocked in five three-pointers to finish with 17, while the 6-foot-7 Dave Ando wound up with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Tigers, who only pulled away in the third quarter.

UE remained winless in eight games. INQ

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Anna C. Knight

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