Tears of joy for Duremdes as lowly Adamson Falcons book first win on final game of UAAP season
Adamson great Kenneth Duremdes turned emotional after booking his first win as Falcons coach. Jerome Ascano

ADAMSON finally won its first game of the UAAP men's basketball season on its final game of the year, beating University of the Philippines, 67-63, on Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Dawn Ochea buried the go-ahead basket with 57.8 seconds left before Accel Inigo converted two free throws with 1.6 seconds left as the Falcons avoided going winless in Season 77.

The game pitting the league's worst teams was not without drama, as the Falcons came back from a 12-point deficit before staving off a late UP fightback to avenge their first-round loss to the Maroons.

There, too, were tears of joy for Adamson great and Falcons head coach Kenneth Duremdes, who finally won a game after taking on the challenge of reviving his alma mater's fortunes.

“Ganito pala itsura dito,” said Duremdes amid cheers from mediamen upon entering the press room. “Tears of joy. Sweet victory. We ended the season on a winning note.”

Don Trollano had 21 points and 12 rebounds while Jansen Rios added 11 points in their final game in a Falcons uniform as the two teams ended the season with similar 1-13 (win-loss) records.

UP got off to a strong start as the Maroons had a 24-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. But the Falcons outscored the Maroons, 25-15, to wrest the lead, 50-45, and never looked back from there.

Diego Dario spearheaded a comeback that enabled the Maroons to tie the game at 63-63.

Adamson, however, got the lead back as Ochea scored from inside while Mikee Reyes missed a jumper that would have forced overtime.

The scores:

Adamson (67) – Trollano 21, Rios 11, Ochea 9, Monteclaro 7, Polican 5, Villanueva 5, Inigo 4, Pedrosa 3, Barrera 2, Garcia 0, Nalos 0, Aquino 0, Baytan 0.

UP (63) – Dario 13, Lao 11, Gingerich 10, Reyes 9, Moralde 8, Gallarza 7, Juruena 3, Asilum 2, Vito 0, Harris 0.

Quarterscores: 12-24, 25-30, 50-45, 67-63.

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