Adamson formally enters Final Four picture after shutting down UP

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NOT TODAY. Papi Sarr and Adamson did not give UP any chance whatsoever to fight back.

Adamson University stymied the University of the Philippines in the third quarter on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

And in the final frame, the Soaring Falcons didn’t give the Maroons any chance whatsoever to fight back.

Papi Sarr overpowered anybody threw at him, Jerie Pingoy masterfully orchestrated the offense, and Adamson bullied its way right through UP, 86-70, and officially onto the playoff stage of the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

For the second straight season, Franz Pumaren has brought to San Marcelino a taste of the playoffs. “I guess we already exceeded last year’s performance. We’re ahead by one game going to the last game of eliminations – that’s an improvement already,” the head coach said, referring to their 8-6 record a year ago.

Already leading by eight at the half, Adamson went on a 21-6 tear to put up a massive 60-37 lead at the 3:35 mark of the third.

Still, State U had high hopes for a comeback as in their last outing, they only scored five points in the third before rallying all the way to a win.

Indeed, Paul Desiderio willed his team back to within 66-74 with five minutes remaining. “If you notice, during that time, I didn’t call a timeout. For me, that’s one way of trusting my players, one way of making them feel that they should rise above the challenge,” Pumaren said.

Respond, the Soaring Falcons did as Pingoy’s assist to a Jerrick Ahanmisi fastbreak layup sparked their 12-0 kick to close the contest.

In the end, Sarr had a power performance of 25 points and 17 rebounds while Pingoy had an all-around 15 points, eight assists, six steals, and four rebounds.

Jerrick Ahanmisi and Rob Manalang chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, as Adamson locked itself into the third-seed.

In doing so, they also gave UP a tougher time of making the playoffs.

Despite Desiderio’s 20 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals, they now stand at 5-7 – a full game behind fourth-running 6-6 Far Eastern University.

BOX SCORES

ADAMSON 86 – Sarr 25, Pingoy 15, Ahanmisi 11, Manalang 10, Espeleta 8, Manganti 5, Ochea 4, Hill 4, Camacho 4, Lojera 0, Mustre 0, Bernardo 0, Paranada 0

UP 70 – Desiderio 20, Manzo 15, Gomez de Liano 10, Vito 6, Lim 4, Dario 3, Jaboneta 3, Webb 3, Ouattara 2, Romero 2, Lao 2, Harris 0, Prado 0

QUARTER SCORES: 18-17, 39-31, 69-50, 86-70

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