ATENEO held Adamson without a field goal in the final three minutes to put away a 79-72 victory on Sunday and get back on track after an upset loss in the UAAP seniors basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The league-leading Eagles played catch-up for the most part but finished the game with a crucial 9-1 run to wrap up their 10th win in 12 tries and a 14th consecutive trip to the Final Four.
The win atoned for the four-time champions' shock 77-79 loss to University of the East last Thursday which Eagles star Nico Salva said served as a wake-up call for the team.
“It was a wake-up call for us,” said Salva, who topscored for the Blue Eagles with 24 points. “It reminded us that we are not yet there and we need to continue working and pushing.”
Ateneo coach Norman Black said that the team played much better this time around despite Adamson staying in control for most of the game.
“We executed a lot better in this game,” said Black. “The biggest difference in this game is our teamwork. We had better ball movement, we shared the basketball and everybody was interested in one thing, which is winning.”
Six straight points from Salva gave Ateneo the lead, 72-71, before Kiefer Ravena joined the fray and kept the Eagles from losing back-to-back games since Season 71.
Adamson's 10th loss in 12 games spoiled a gallant effort by Eric Camson, who led the Falcons’ charge with 26 points. He nailed six of the team's 10 three-pointers, the last giving the Falcons their last taste of the lead at 71-70.
ATENEO (79) – Salva 24, Slaughter 16, Ravena 15, Elorde 10, Chua 6, Tiongson 3, Buenafe 3, Sumalinog 1, Erram 1, Gonzaga 0, Golla 0.
ADAMSON (72) – Camson 26, Cruz 14, Cabrera 10, Monteclaro 8, Brondial 8, Rios 4, Etrone 2, Trollano 0, Petilos 0, Agustin 0.
Quarterscores: 21-25; 38-38; 55-59; 79-72.