Photos by Cleverlyn Mayuga
Text by Luisa Morales
The Fighting Maroons got a taste of their own medicine.
The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered a heartbreaker at the hands of the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 71-73, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Reminiscent of Paul Desiderio’s last second shot against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in their season opener, Soaring Falcon Sean Manganti dealt a fatal blow with a putback to give Adamson the lead with one second to go.
State U started the game strong, converting bucket after bucket to lead Adamson, 17-3. Stingy defense from the Maroon squad left the Falcons with only a single field goal until the four-minute mark of the first.
But Adamson slowly recovered, going back and forth with the Maroons. By the end of the first, UP held a nine-point lead, 25-16
It was all Adamson during the second frame, with Soaring Falcon Jerrick Ahanmisi scoring 17 markers single-handedly while the whole UP squad had 19.
The Maroons were holding onto a slim one-point lead, 44-43, courtesy of UP Rookie Lorenzo Battad’s first UAAP basket.
After the half, both teams exchanged blows to keep the game close. But the San Marcelino squad came out with a 3-point lead, 57-54, with one quarter to go.
Adamson continued to convert at the fourth, leading UP by as much as six. But State U wasn’t going away that easy.
The Diliman team caught up with a few baskets of their own and led by two, 67-65, despite skipper Desiderio failing to convert on an and-one opportunity.
No team could pull away. The game was in deadlock, 71-all with 22 seconds to go. But Adamson was able to convert with a Manganti putback to take the lead with a second left.
State U was unable to inbound the ball and lost the game, 71-73.
Desiderio and Jun Manzo paced the Maroons with 19 points each. Rookie Juan Gomez de Liano struggled all game, only scoring three points.
Despite the loss, UP head coach Bo Perasol focused on the positives of the game.
“We just have to pick up the good things about [the game] and find a way how we can get another win” Perasol said.
The UP coach commented on the team being unable to sustain a lead, losing a double-digit lead in the first period.
Perasol wanted his bench to step up after his starters, “I challenged the people coming off the bench… if I had a team that could sustain how we start, I can say for sure we’ll be in the final four.” He said.
The UP bench was outscored, 14-27 by Adamson’s reserves.
The loss puts UP with an even 3-3 slate. State U looks to fnish the first round strong in their match against National University (NU) on Sunday.