JEROME Garcia had a career-high 26 points to lead Adamson to a 73-68 victory over University of the Philippines on Sunday, ending the Falcons' dry spell in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The second-year guard played his finest game in an Adamson uniform as the Falcons finally got their first victory after six straight defeats, ending their campaign in the first round of the eliminations on a high note.
State U, meanwhile, fell to its fifth straight defeat after a 2-0 (win-loss) start to the season.
Garcia, who is actually a returnee after not being part of last year’s lineup, scored 19 points in the first half including 13 in the second period to give the Falcons a 47-28 spread.
“It’s about time. I told them to finish the first round with a win. They did it,” said Adamson rookie coach Mike Fermin.
Joseph Nalos had 15 points while rookie JD Tungcab had 13 points for the Falcons, who also got 15 rebounds from Cameroonian import Papi Sarr.
Paul Desiderio was the lone bright spot for the Maroons with 26 points. He had 11 points in the fourth quarter and spearheaded a UP run that tied the game at 59.
The Maroons’ fightback was short-lived, however, as Tungcab connected on a lay-up with 1:55 left in the fourth that made it a 70-66 game.
Adamson (73) — J. Garcia 26, Nalos 15, Tungcab 13, Sarr 8, Polican 5, Ochea 4, Margallo 2, Camacho 0, C. Garcia 0, Ng 0, Villanueva 0.
UP (68) — Desiderio 26, Longa 9, Jaboneta 7, Dario 6, Amar 4, Kone 4, Prado 4, Moralde 3, Vito 3, Asilum 2, Harris 0, Juruena 0, Lim 0, Manuel 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 47-28, 57-46, 73-68.