UAAP: Adamson stuns NU behind bench mob to stay in Final Four race
MANILA, Philippines — Adamson lived another day as its bench mob stepped up when it mattered most to stun the No.2 National University, 68-62, in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Didat Hanapi rose to the occasion for the back-against-the-wall Falcons with 13 points, as Monti Montebon and Ced Manzano also showed the way for their team, which drew 50 points from the bench.
Montebon had 12 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Ced Manzano also scored 12 to go with three rebounds, two blocks, and two assists, while Eli Ramos and OJ Ojarikre added seven points each.
Adamson improved to a 6-7 record, needing to win its final elimination game against the also-ran University of the East on Sunday, paired with a loss of Ateneo (7-6) to surging La Salle in their rivalry game on Saturday to force a playoff for No.4 against the Blue Eagles.
“It’s always tough when you face NU. Every time we faced them over the years, the game was always this close. NU’s a very tough team,” said Adamson coach Nash Racela. “I was surprised when I looked at the stats. We out-rebounded them 42 to 34 when they’re a great rebounding team. I think this is probably one of the reasons why we gave ourselves a chance, you know. We were able to out-rebound them but at the same time, they only had three second chance points. That was the key for us.”
Ojarikre scored a three-point play to give Adamson a 60-52 lead with 5:14 remaining but NU stayed within striking distance behind the efforts of Jake Figueroa, who was seen stepping out of bounds but got away with a foul leading to a perfect trip from the free throw line to cut it down to four, 64-60, with 37 seconds left.
Wawa Yerro then faked two defenders and scored a basket inside to give the Falcons a 66-60 breather with 18.6 seconds left, but an unnecessary foul from Matt Erolon gave up Kean Baclaan let NU within four anew.
Erolon made up for his blunded with a perfect trip to the freehtrow line to seal the win.
NU slid to joint second place tied with La Salle, holding identical 10-3 records as Baclaan’s 24-point and eight-rebound effort went for naught. Figueroa had 13 points and five rebounds.
The Bulldogs continue to fight for a twice-to-beat advantage against top seed University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons (11-2) on Sunday at the same venue in Pasay City.
AdU (68) – Hanapi 13, Montebon 12, Manzano 12, Ramos 7, Ojarikre 7, Yerro 6, Erolon 4, Calisay 3, Magbuhos 2, Barasi 2, Colonia 0, Barcelona 0, Anabo 0, Cañete 0.
NU (62) – Baclaan 24, Figueroa 13, Lim 6, Palacielo 5, John 5, Yu 4, Malonzo 2, Manansala 2, Jumamoy 1, Padrones 0.
Quarterscores: 25-17, 40-33, 50-42, 68-62