ADAMSON survived University of the East, 84-82, to book the last ticket to the playoffs in Group B of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Falcons turned to Robbie Manalang at crunch time to wiggle out of a tight do-or-die game and move above .500 with a 4-3 win-loss record, enough to take fourth spot ahead of the Red Warriors, who finished fifth at 3-4.
“We lucky we survived this game and surprised to make the quarterfinals,” said Falcons coach Franz Pumaren, who took over the squad late last year.
Manalang, a rookie Filipino-American point guard, buried back-to-back three-pointers that highlighted his game-high 21 points and allowed the Falcons to gain enough cushion to negate a late stand by the Red Warriors.
Cherif Papi Sarr continued to anchor the Falcons with 17 points and 18 boards, while JD Tungcab added 16 points, five boards, and four assists.
Alvin Pasaol led five Red Warriors in double-figure scoring with 17 points in 14 minutes that went for naught.
ADAMSON 84 – Manalang 21, Sarr 17, Tungcab 16, Ahanmisi 10, Paranada 7, Ochea 6, Manganti 5, Pasturan 2, Ng 0, Bernardo 0, Camacho 0, Espeleta 0
UE 82 – Pasaol 17, Charcos 16, Penuela 13, Batiller 12, Palma 10, Acuno 4, Varilla 3, Gagate 2, Olayon 2, Armenion 2, Manalang 1, De Leon 0, Abanto 0, Larupay 0
Quarterscores: 22-16, 44-35, 63-60, 84-82