UAAP: Adamson boosts Final Four bid with win over UST

Adamson’s Joshua Yerro goes for a shot against UST defenders in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines–Adamson indulged itself in a cliffhanger before throwing University of Santo Tomas off the cliff, 61-53, on Saturday in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Joshua Yerro has evolved into somebody the Soaring Falcons could consistently lean on, steel-hot on the field for the second consecutive game with 17 points, highlighted by four threes, all in the first half.

Asserting themselves in the paint, the Falcons built on their previous runaway win over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws with another victory for an even 5-5 record, giving defending champion Ateneo the fits against another title contender in National University in the other game.

“We have to be consistent and learn from our mistakes. There were last-minute lapses on our part,” said Yerro.

adamson coach Nash Racela UAAP

Adamson coach Nash Racela.–MARLO CUETO/

The Tigers scratched and clawed throughout on the collective efforts of Christian Manaytay and Ivanne Calum along with Ivan Lazarte, but eventually sputtered in the end, resembling the majority of UST’s eight previous defeats this season.

Plummeting deeper with just a single victory in 10 outings, the Tigers inched their way toward the door and could again be reduced to pinning their hopes for redemption next season.

“I agree we needed a big fourth quarter. We have to finish strong, so again it’s something we have to learn,’’ said Adamson coach Nash Racela. “Finishing games, it’s something we need to improve on.”

Nick Cabanero, the Tigers’ indefatigable leader and the tournament’s leading scorer, easily had one of his worst outings this season with nine points on three out of 15 shooting.

UST faces the Ateneo Blue Eagles next prior to meeting the second-running NU Bulldogs and tournament-favorite University of the Philippines before another run-in with the FEU Tamaraws, the only team the Tigers defeated this year.

Just too strong off the glass after collecting 20 of their 50 rebounds on the offensive end, the Falcons remain confident in the hunt for a Final Four spot following back-to-back victories.

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“We focus on La Salle next. One game at a time,” said Racela, whose Falcons are scheduled to play the Green Archers on Wednesday before another encounter with Ateneo and NU in succession.

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