Courtesy of a Dawn Ochea game-winning jumper, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons nabbed a win from the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles, 62-61, in the first round of eliminations of UAAP Season 79, Saturday afternoon at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon city.
The team captain Ochea, who was on the bench for most of the game due to foul trouble, was subbed in by Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren at the last minute for the decisive play and made a catch-and-shoot fadeaway jumpshot with 1.4 seconds left after go-to guys Jerrick Ahanmisi and Rob Manalang were denied by the Ateneo defenders.
“Dawn Ochea made me a coaching genius,” said Pumaren. “He knows what he was supposed to do and he nailed that magical shot.”
The jumpshot was Ochea’s only points of the game to go along with one rebound and four fouls.
“Sabi kasi ni coach if ma-deny si Jerrick at si Rob– kasi siyempre tutok sila kay Jerrick at kay Rob kasi they’ve been scoring in this game– siyempre hindi nila ine-expect na mula sa bench ‘yung titira,” said Ochea. “I’ve been doing that shot every night sa mga practice namin so I was very confident in that shot.”
The sharpshooting floor general Manalang led in scoring after carrying the Falcons back in the game with 10 straight points in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 points on a 6-of-14 shooting clip. Papi Sarr was crucial as well as he delivered his 13 points and 16 rebounds in times where Adamson was at a deadend along with Ahanmisi who had 13 points of his own along with three assists.
For Ateneo, Anton Asistio paced the Eagles with 12 points and was the lone player in Blue with double-figure points.
Ateneo will look to bounce back against the UE Red Warriors on September 24, Sunday while Adamson’s next opponent will be the NU Bulldogs on September 21, Wednesday at the MOA Arena.
Adamson: Manalang 15, Ahanmisi 13, Sarr 13, Manganti 6, Espeleta 4, Mustre 4, Bernardo 3, Tungcab 2, Ochea 2, Camacho 0, Pasturan 0, Chua 0, Ng 0, Paranada 0.
Ateneo: Asistio 12, Porter 8, Mi. Nieto 7, Ma. Nieto 7, Tolentino 6, Ikeh 5, Mendoza 5, Wong 4, Verano 4, Ravena 3, Babilonia 0, Go 0.