By Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan
The Adamson Soaring Falcons sustained the cushion lead they set up early in the second quarter to held off the UP Fighting Maroons, 74-51, in the second round of the UAAP Season 73 Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Falcons played all-out against the four-man short UP Squad to gain the momentum coming into their Sunday clash against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, who were stunned by the UE Red Warriors in the second game.
“I opted to stick with the players who really want to exert effort,” said AdU head coach Leo Austria.
Alexander Nuyles led the Falcons’ offense with 14 markers, backed by Roider Cabrera, Jerick Cañada and Janus Lozada who finished with 13, 12 and 11 points respectively.
“Wala ako sa focus last game kaya bumawi talaga ako ngayon,” said Nuyles.
Meanwhile, the Maroons were still in the hunt for their first win after 11 outings.
Magi Sison has been a workhorse for the Maroons in the absence of teammates Woody Co and Mark Lopez, who were both injured, Alvin Padilla, who was suspended, and Mike Silungan, who caught a flu.
The 6’7” center fired 20 points and skied 17 rebounds, and has been the only player to finish with a double-digit output for the Maroons.
The Falcons blew up their margin in the second quarter, uncorking 14 unanswered points. The Maroons has scored only a point via a free throw by Sison until the last three minutes.
Sison sank in another shot, followed by Mark Juruena and Jett Manuel, but the Falcons easily neutralized, scoring seven more points from players off-the-bench Ryan Monteclaro and Allen Etrone, and starter Jan Colina.
The Falcons enjoyed a 43-16 lead by the end of the first half, their 21 markers tripling the Maroons’ seven-point output in the second canto.
The Maroons played a better second half, launching 19 points in the third and 16 in the fourth, but the Falcons kept an iron grip to their 23-point lead.
The UP Fighting Maroons will tangle with the UST Growling Tigers in the 2 p.m. game on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.