ADAMSON shook off a slow start to pull off a stunning 84-75 victory over Ateneo to progress in the stepladder semifinals of the UAAP Season 82 boys' basketball tournament Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Season MVP Jake Figueroa had 15 points, 22 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals as he led six Baby Falcons who notched double-digits in scoring to complete the come-from-behind victory.
John Erolon also bucked a slow start as he sizzled with 16 points built on four triples, on top of five boards and five dimes as Adamson set a duel against No. 2 seed FEU-Diliman, which is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
It was an amazing turnaround for the Baby Falcons, which had to battle back from a lackluster start as they allowed the Blue Eaglets seize a 15-2 lead and a 15-point advantage, 29-14 in the first half.
"We committed tougher defense. They had their way nung first half tapos relax lang kami. Ang usapan namin, pahirapan sila at medyo nag-click. Tapos tsaka kami nakaratsada," said coach Mike Fermin, who won his first ever playoff game as a head coach.
Adamson blitzed its way to a 20-2 run to flip the game from a 58-55 deficit to a commanding 78-60 lead after a Jeremy Guarino with 5:53 left.
Lebron Lopez and Forthsky Padrigao tried to mount a late run for Ateneo, but Figueroa slammed the door on that rally with his split on the line with 4.2 ticks left.
Ruzzell Dominguez also had a double-double of his own with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Nicole Quinal scored 13.
Guarino contributed 11 points, seven boards and four assists, as Joshua Barcelona got 10 points and 10 rebounds for Adamson.
The Blue Eaglets will miss the finals for the first time in four years.
Forthsky Padrigao paced Ateneo with 22 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals, as Joaquin Jaymalin had 20 points, seven boards and two steals.
Lopez also collected 13 points, four rebounds, and seven rejections, while Josh Lazaro registered 12 points, 10 boards, and six blocks in the Blue Eaglets exit.
Adamson 84 - Erolon 16, Figueroa 15, Dominguez 13, Quinal 13, Guarino 11, Barcelona 10, Cosal 6, Hanapi 0.
Ateneo 75 - Padrigao 22, Jaymalin 20, Lopez 13, Lazaro 12, Espinosa 4, Ladimo 2, G. Salvador 2, Corral 0, De Ayre 0, Nieto 0, Pangilinan 0, M. Salvador 0.
Quarterscores: 8-22; 29-31; 57-58; 84-75.