Led by Jerrick Ahanmisi, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons unleashed a three-point flurry to defeat the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 104-85, in the opening game of UAAP Season 79, at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon city, Sunday afternoon.
The hot-shooting Ahanmisi dropped 28 points on 6-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc– 10-of-11 overall– along with six rebounds in his first game in the UAAP to lead the Falcons’ 13 three-point conversions. Rob Manalang also joined the the party as he finished with 16 points on 2-of-5 from three to go along with nine assists
“I just want to set the record straight– it’s not Renren (Ritualo) who’s been teaching these guys how to shoot, it was me,” quipped Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren. “I’m confident with these two guys, I think their smart enough to help us. Shooting has been there.”
“I was a little bit nervous going into my first game but I was also very excited, it’s a blessing really that I get to play in front of the fans,” mused Ahanmisi. “It was an exciting performance from me.”
The Falcons led wire-to-wire and pulled away in an explosive third quarter where Ahanmisi scored 13 of Adamson’s first 15 points of the period to be on top by as much as 19 points. UP, however, threatened to come back as they forced Adamson into turnovers that trimmed the lead to as low as six points, 83-77, with 4:35 to play.
An 14-4 run by the Falcons, led by Manalang and Sean Manganti though, extinguished the Maroons’ run and sealed the victory.
Papi Sarr contributed with a double-double performance of 13 points and 11 rebounds while veteran big man Dawn Ochea showed his off-season improvements as he chipped in 13 points as well to go along with four rebounds and two assists.
For the Maroons, Paul Desiderio tried to will UP back in the game with 24 points, six rebounds and two assists but it would not be enough.
Adamson would next face the FEU Tamarraws on Sunday, September 11, while UP would look to bounce back against the De La Salle Green Archers on, Saturday, the day before.
Adamson: Ahanmisi 28, Manalang 16, Ochea 13, Sarr 13, Mustre 9, Manganti 8, Tungcab 6, Pasturan 6, Ng 4, Paranada 1, Camacho 0.
UP: Desiderio 24, Manuel 15, Moralde 12, Asilum 11, Vito 7, Webb 5, Harris 5, Gomez De Lioano 2, Romero 2, Lao 2, Dario 0, Lim 0, Prado 0, Jaboneta 0, Longa 0.