MANILA — Adamson University is the first team through to the quarterfinals of the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament.
Carrying them there, as always, is Papi Sarr.
The Cameroonian only had five points, but did all the heavy lifting late as the Soaring Falcons got the better of University of the Philippines (UP), 58-50, on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“This is a good bounce back game for us,” head coach Franz Pumaren said after his boys got back on the win column following their upset loss to Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) last Monday.
They now stand at 6-1 – already with more than enough wins to qualify for the playoffs.
Still, Adamson had to work for it as the tally was tied at 46 inside the last five minutes. “What happened in today’s game, sometimes we’re just flashing what we can do,” Pumaren said.
From there, Sarr had back-to-back splits from the stripe before overpowering Ibrahim Quattara for an inside basket and a 51-46 advantage for his team with 2:21 remaining.
Jun Manzo then made good on one-of-two free throws to stop the bleeding for the Fighting Maroons only to see Jerie Pingoy hammer down the final nail in their coffin with a booming triple.
Pingoy wound up with eight points to backstop the game-long brilliance of Robbie Manalang and Sean Manganti who scored 11 markers apiece.
“Of course, it’s still a win for us. At least, it’s a testament that we’re improving,” Pumaren said.
Aside from his scoring output which all came under the last four minutes, Sarr also hauled in 13 rebounds, all while anchoring a defense which suffocated their opponents into 33 percent shooting.
The Soaring Falcon defense was so disciplined that it only allowed UP one make from long-distance out of 17 attempts.
Adamson has only one assignment to go in the group stages – a showdown with undefeated Far Eastern University (FEU).
“That’s a big game against FEU. Hopefully, we can compete with their maturity,” Pumaren expressed.
Paul Desiderio bannered the effort for UP with 17 points and nine rebounds. With him and everyone else locked down, however, they suffered their first setback in four games.
ADAMSON 58 – Manalang 11, Manganti 11, Pingoy 8, Ahanmisi 7, Hill 6, Sarr 5, Camacho 4, Ochea 2, Bernardo 2, Zaldivar 2, Paranada 0, Chua 0
UP 50 – Desiderio 17, Manzo 13, Quattara 4, Webb 4, Lim 4, Gomez de Liano 3, Ricafort 2, Prado 2, Dario 1, Vito 0, Harris 0, Lao 0
Quarter scores: 16-10, 28-25, 41-38, 58-50
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.
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