ADAMSON beat University of the East, 74-71, on Saturday, denting the Red Warriors' bid for a Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Papi Sarr had 22 points and 20 rebounds for the also-ran Falcons, who won for the second time in the last three games to improve their record to 3-10 win-loss record.
Adamson nearly squandered a 20-point lead in the second half but clutch Joseph Nalos free throws and a couple of crucial misses by the Warriors let the Falcons off the hook.
“It’s a good morale-booster for us,” said Adamson coach Mike Fermin.
Clark Derige had 17 points to lead UE, which slipped behind La Salle and National University at 4-8 but nonetheless remained in the hunt for a berth in the Final Four.
Adamson saw a wide 64-44 margin trimmed to one point, 72-71, but UE missed on a go-ahead attempt, leading to Joseph Nalos hitting two free throws with 15 seconds to play to settle the final score.
“It’s crucial for us to win the first five minutes of the third quarter. For the past few games, ang Achilles heel namin is the third quarter, lagi kaming talo. Our target was to get a cushion. Maski ilan ang lamang, basta going to the fourth, lamang tayo.”
Rookie JD Tungcab had 14 points while Nalos added 11 points for the Falcons, who will wrap up their season against University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday.
Adamson (74) — Sarr 22, Tungcab 14, Nalos 11, J. Garcia 7, Polican 5, Ochea 5, Escalambre 5, Capote 3, Margallo 2, Bernardo 0, Fernandez 0, Villanueva 0.
UE (71) — Derige 17, Palma 11, Javier 9, Charcos 9, J. Varilla 8, Abanto 4, Yu 4, De Leon 4, Batiller 3, Sta. Ana 2, P. Varilla 0, Manalang 0, Gagate 0, Penuela 0.
Quarterscores: 24-18, 48-44, 65-54, 74-71.