ADAMSON continued its surprising surge and gained solo possession of second place, beating National University, 64-51, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 79 basketball tournament at the MOA Arena.
It was a huge follow-up to a squeaker over Ateneo, and the Falcons improved their record to 3-1 to gain second spot behind unbeaten La Salle (4-0).
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, suffered their second straight loss after starting the season with two consecutive wins.
Papi Sarr had a double-double of 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Falcons, who also got 11 points from JD Tungcab.
Another second-stringer stepped up for Adamson, with Kristian Bernardo hitting big baskets down the stretch to help the Falcons gain the lead for good. Last week, Adamson got a big lift from sub Dawn Ochea.
Playing a total of seven minutes, Bernardo scored all his seven points in a fourth quarter stretch to help Adamson keep a slim lead over NU. He made last basket coming in the 2:24 mark where he converted a putback to put the Falcons ahead, 53-49.
Jerrick Ahanmisi made a three-point play with 1:59 left in the fourth as the Falcons increased their lead to five points, 56-51.
“I guess slowly, we are showing a little bit of maturity and character. Coming into this game, people may scout us or think of us as an Ahanmisi or Manalang or Papi Sarr team. But I think the bench contributed well,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren.
Adamson will face La Salle on Saturday, with the Falcons looking to stun Pumaren’s old team and gain a share of first place.
Alfred Aroga had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who now share third place with Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, and Ateneo.
J-Jay Alejandro and Rev Diputado were held scoreless by the Adamson defense.
Adamson 64 — Sarr 13, Tungcab 11, Manganti 9, Ahanmisi 8, Bernardo 7, Mustre 5, Espeleta 4, Ochea 3, Manalang 2, Camacho 2, Pasturan 0, Ng 0, Paranada 0, Chua 0.
NU 51 — Aroga 17, Salem 9, Salim 7, Mosqueda 4, Morido 4, C. Diputado 3, Pate 3, Gallego 2, Sinclair 2, Alejandro 0, R. Diputado 0, Abatayo 0, Aquino 0, Rangel 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 17-13; 29-28; 42-40; 54-51.