ADAMSON coach Leo Austria admitted the Falcons simply could not overcome Ateneo’s high “basketball IQ” in the loss to the five-time champions Blue Eagles on Sunday.
The Adamson mentor said it will take some time before he could instill the same poise and presence of mind in his team that the Blue Eagles already possess in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“I’m trying my best through repetition but it takes a lot of time,” said Austria, who recently won an Asean Basketball League (ABL) title with the San Miguel Beermen.
Such was the case in the Falcons’ 59-71 loss to the Eagles at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Despite the Eagles' 0-3 (win-loss) start, Austria believed Ateneo still had not lost the poise and the focus despite the departure of key players from its championship team last season.
“Outhustled kami, outfocused kami,” said a frustrated Austria after the game. “Nag-prevail ‘yung intelligence ng Ateneo.”
The Falcons had a miserable day on offense as they went just 21-of-70 from the field. They also hit just nine of their 21 free throws.
Jericho Cruz had 21 points, while Roider Cabrera had 14 points for the Falcons. However, the duo shot a combined 13-of-39 from the field.
Adamson was also outrebounded, 37-49, even with Ateneo having a lean frontcourt in JP Erram and Ryan Buenafe, who each had 12 rebounds.
“Walang nag-click sa amin. Big man namin outrebounded, ‘yung big man namin hindi makatanggap sa poste,” said Austria.
“Lahat ng ginawa namin, hindi nagawa. Game plan namin, hindi nagawa. Supposed to be, we will take advantage of our size pero nabaligtad,” said Austria.
With the loss, the Falcons continued their roller-coaster start to the season with an even 2-2 win-loss slate.