IT was a high-school preseason game just like any other, until Adrian 'AP' Manlapaz did the unthinkable.
The 17-year-old fresh Adamson recruit surprised a lot of people, including himself, when he pulled off an eye-popping dunk against seven-footer Kai Sotto during the Baby Falcons' game against the Ateneo Blue Eaglets last Sunday.
A video and picture of the impressive dunk was sent to SPIN.ph by one reader and after a confirmation and a little research, we found out that the highlight play happened during a PCABL game at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy gym which the Baby Falcons won by three points.
Sotto, of course, is one of the most exciting basketball prospects for Batang Gilas - a 15-year-old who has grown to 7-foot-2 yet has started to develop skills not normally seen from a player his size or age.
But on this one play at least, he served as part of a highlight poster of a 6-foot-1 high-flyer from San Fernando, Pampanga who, after twice being foiled by Sotto in drives to the basket, decided to put his head down and take the ball strong to the hoop.
What happened next was a slam that surprised Manlapaz himself.
According to members of the Adamson team led by coach Mike Fermin and backers Engr. Bong Nuno, Joseph Sy and Engr. Gilbert Cruz, Manlapaz is barely four months into his stay with the Baby Falcons side that is going through a rebuilding phase following the departure of longtime coach Goldwin Monteverde.
The teenager was brought to Adamson's tryouts as a walk-in and has since claimed a spot in the team - described by coaches as an athletic, high-leaping player with an Arwind Santos-type of body who rarely goes for dunks, even during team scrimmages.
While they are quick to play down the dunk, Adamson coaches said they plan to use the video as a motivational tool in the future - one proof that players 'are capable of pulling off anything, so long as you put your mind into it."