FACING one of the most explosive guard combos in the UAAP Season 80, Adamson’s triple threat of guards delivered a performance that could put them in the ‘league’s best backcourts’ conversation.
Though University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo still got their numbers, the Falcons’ backcourt proved to be steady down the stretch as Jerrick Ahanmisi, Rob Manalang and Jerie Pingoy steered the team to a close win.
Franz Pumaren was delighted with how the three held their own against the high-scoring UP duo to stay within striking in step with the top teams in the league.
“Well, I'm not trying to be biased, but I'm confident with my backcourt. I think our backcourt right now, you can always put them in the equation considered as the top backcourt players right now,” said Franz Pumaren.
“Slowly, even Jerrick as a sophomore and Rob as a sophomore, and Koko, I consider him a rookie kasi he hardly played in Ateneo. I think we're doing a good job. A game like this will help us really improve down the stretch,” he added.
Ahanmisi finally found his range as he topscored for the Falcons with 21 points on 8-11 shooting. Pingoy had 10 points while Manalang took the responsibilities of hitting the clutch baskets after scoring five of Adamson’s last seven points.
“I’m not afraid to take big shots. I know that my team needs that from em sometimes. Hopefully I can find some consistency throughout the competition but I’m glad I was able to hit big shots for my team,” Manalang said.
The sophomore point guard knew that he had to bring his A-Game especially in going against Manzo and Desiderio who both still wound up with 19 points apiece.
For Manalang, now’s the perfect time to showcase what they’re made of.
“Those are some good guys over there at UP. It was tough to guard them but me Jerrick and Jerie, we always talk about trying to match up with the best of the best and to be able to be the best you have to beat them so I’m glad we were able to come up with the win today,” he added.
Like most of his teammates, Manalang knew the implications of this match and that the Fighting Maroons will be a good a gauge of their progress.
“That was a really important game. We knew from the beginning that we had to come ready to play. Unfortunately we didn’t have a good start today but we were able to recover from that and that’s a big win, I’m really proud of my guys.”