By Antonio Lorenzo Regondola
Photos by Marlon Nombrado
The Adamson University took flight in their season opener as they edged the University of the Philippines, 79-67, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 76 Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Despite committing 25 turnovers, the Falcons leaned on star player Jericho Cruz’s 19 points to keep the Maroons at bay. Roider Cabrera also tossed in 11 markers.
The Maroons got a spark from former De La Salle Green Archer Sam Marata, who led UP in scoring with 20 points. Raul Soyud and Henry Asilum supported his assault with 10 points apiece.
But Adamson dominated the battle of the boards, 53-29, with 23 offensive rebounds. Rookie center Ingrid Sewa snatched a game-high 10 rebounds, six coming from the offensive glass. He also tallied 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
“We need to work harder on blocking out. ‘Yun lang ‘yun e. Hindi naman kami tatangkad e,” said UP head Coach Ricky Dandan, pointing to the big rebounding deficit as the cause of their defeat.
Maroon guard Asilum, who just recovered from a shoulder injury, sank a teardrop to ignite a 14-2 run after being down 53-35 early in the third quarter. Marata capped the scoring streak with a layup to bring UP within six, 55-49.
But Adamson seized the momentum away and scored the last five points of the third to lead 60-49. Cruz got fouled on a layup late in the quarter but failed to convert on the free throw.
Adamson’s Harry Petilos started the fourth period with a triple to extend the lead to 14. UP never got the lead below 12 since then.
Ryan Monteclaro, the Falcons’ starting point guard, was only inserted in the game by coach Leo Austria for one minute.
Monteclaro’s mother passed away two Fridays ago and he had to miss eight days of practice. Austria said that Monteclaro’s father wanted his son to play because that is what his mother would like to see.
“But I cannot compromise our win that’s why I did not give him enough playing time because for me… if you did not practice the day before the game, I will not use you,” Austria said.
With the win, UP has now lost its last nine contests against Adamson. Their last win against the Falcons came in 2008.
The Maroons will face the Archers on Wednesday, 2 pm at the MOA Arena.
Adamson – Cruz, 19; Sewa, 15; Cabrera, 11; Brondial, 9; Petilos, 8; Julkipli, 8; Rios, 4; Inigo, 3; Agustin, 2; Trollano, 0; Ochea, 0; Monteclaro, 0; Bernabe, 0; Abrigo, 0
UP – Marata, 20; Soyud, 10; Asilum, 10; Lao, 6; Wong, 4; Reyes, 4; Pascual, 4; Ball, 4; Gallarza, 3; Harris, 2; Paras, 0; Ligad, 0; Gingerich, 0
Quarterly scores: 18-13, 36-28, 60-49, 79-67