MANILA, Philippines – Never mind both teams’ woeful shooting at the start of the game.
In the end, the Adamson Falcons hacked out a breakthrough win over the La Salle Green Archers, 57-50, to keep hold of the top spot in the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, October 20.
Sean Manganti posted a team-high 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists as the Falcons and coach Franz Pumaren scored their first victory over the Archers for the first time in 3 years.
Papi Sarr also had 12 points and 15 boards as the Falcons held off off an Archers side that failed to shoot a single field goal in the 1st quarter.
Both teams, though, started off seemingly with frostbite as Adamson finished the opening quarter just up 9-2 - with La Salle getting their sole points from two Joaqui Manuel free throws and going 0-of-20 from the field.
The Falcons maintained their hold of the No. 1 spot at 7-2 as they also avenged their first-round loss to ther Archers.
Adamson guard Jerie Pingoy also built on his rising game with 6 markers, 5 boards and a game-high 5 assists.
Aljun Melecio fired 18 points and grabbed 8 boards to pace the Archers, who remained at 4th place at 5-4.
Encho Serrano had 10 markers and was the only other Archer in double-digit scoring.
The Archers regrouped and got within 6, 35-41, entering the 4th quarter.
Back-to-back triples from Melecio evaporated the Falcons lead to one, 46-47, with 6:06 remaining in the frame.
However, Adamson captain Manganti answered right back with his own long bomb to keep the cushion at 4, 50-46.
La Salle got its chances down the stretch to trim the lead, but couldn't convert as Manganti sealed the deal with penalty free throws.
Adamson 57 – Manganti 19, Sarr 12, Ahanmisi 9, Pingoy 6, Camacho 4, Lastimosa 3, Magbuhos 2, Zaldivar 2, Catapusan 0, Mojica 0, Espeleta 0, Bernardo 0.
La Salle 50 – Melecio 18, Serrano 10, Baltazar 6, Santillan 5, Montalbo 4, Dyke 4, Manuel 2, Caracut 1, Bates 0, Corteza 0.
Quarters: 9-2, 28-21, 41-35, 57-50.