ADAMSON created separation early in the fourth before holding on late to defeat National University, 78-72, in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup on Friday in San Juan.
Playing a UAAP school for the first time in the preseason, the Falcons showed flashes of brilliance as they pounced on the Bulldogs especially in the payoff period.
Jerrick Ahanmisi and Tyrus Hill sparked a pivotal fourth-quarter rally, taking turns in blasting the shell-shocked Bulldogs as they opened a 77-60 lead with less than four minutes to go in the game.
However, JJ Alejandro led NU in mounting a late comeback only to run out of time in the end.
"This is the first time that we played a UAAP team, ito yung pinaka-test namin," said Adamson assistant Jack Santiago who stepped in for Franz Pumaren who was out on official business.
"Down the stretch, medyo hindi maganda yung pinakita ng mga bata. Mga last one minute, parang nag-relax nga. If we want to have a good statement for us, kailangan namin matapos yung game with a strong finish," he added.
Ahanmisi had 16 points and six rebounds for the Falcons who improved to 5-0 for the tournament.
Sean Manganti and Hill brought energy off the bench as the energetic pair added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Alejandro led the Bulldogs with 21 points but that wasn't enough for them as they dropped their first game in four outings.
ADAMSON 78 - Ahanmisi 16, Manganti 14, Hill 11, Sarr 9, Pinggoy 8, Manalang 8, Camacho 6, Ochea 2, Zaldivar 2, Mustre 2, Paranada 0
NU 72 - Alejandro 21, Gaye 13, Bartlett 8, Yu 6, Salem 6, Flores 4, Diputado 4, Lastimosa 3, Galvelo 3, Morido 2, Tibayan 2, Abatayo 0, Aquino 0, Sistoza 0, Rangel 0
Quarters: 16-21; 33-32; 58-51, 78-72