by Karlitos Brian Decena
The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons suffered a 46-72 drubbing at the hands of the Adamson Soaring Falcons, who let loose an avalanche of treys at the 74th UAAP season Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Spitfire guard Alex Nuyles exploded with 21 points and five rebounds for the Falcons, while Lester Alvarez dropped 16 points and three assists to lead Adamson to a 5-2 slate after the first round of the eliminations – second only to defending champs Ateneo Blue Eagles who hold an immaculate 7-0 record.
Meanwhile, Maroons forward Mike Silungan led UP with 12 points, but missed all seven of his triples during the game. Gelo Montecastro contributed eight points and seven rebounds, while the usually dependable guard Jett Manuel scored only five points for UP, which lost its fifth game in seven outings.
“Nothing was going (well) for us,” said Manuel. “But we have to stay together and think positive for the second round.”
The Maroons fought tooth and nail at the start of the game, engaging in a low-scoring battle to keep pace with the Falcons after the first quarter, 6-8.
But the Falcons ignited in the second quarter, as Adamson sparked an 11-0 run capped by Alvarez’s triple at the 1:38 mark to grab a 16-point lead before finishing the half with a 12-point edge against the Maroons, 35-23.
Adamson continued their streak, opening the third quarter with a 12-0 bomb sealed by another Alvarez trey at the 7:24 mark to steer the Falcons to a 53-34 cushion at the end of the third canto.
The Falcons trounced the Maroons even more in the final quarter, as Nuyles and Alvarez rifled a barrage of triples to conspire in a 19-9 spurt that ballooned Adamson’s biggest lead of the game to 29 en route to its lopsided victory.
Despite lording Adamson over the boards, 52-32, the Maroons shot poorly from the field, only making 28 percent of its shots and sinking just one of its fourteen triples, compared to Adamson’s 11 out of 19 rainbow connections.
“We outrebounded them but we shot poorly,” UP coach Ricky Dandan said. “We can’t expect to win (with that performance).”