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Dominant Falcons soar in Season 76 debut

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jun 30th 2013

Jericho Cruz soared high for Adamson University as the Falcons beat the University of the Philippines.

Lord of the boards.

Adamson University asserted its might inside the lane to crush University of the Philippines, 79-67, in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Soaring Falcons hauled down 53 boards to the Fighting Maroons' 29 and gave the Diliman-based cagers no mercy in opening the season they are hosting with a bang.

Jericho Cruz dished out an all-around game with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals while rookie big man Ingrid Sewa pounded his way to 15 points on 75% shooting and 10 boards for Adamson.

"They followed our game plan to the letter," said coach Leo Austria. "We didn't want to get embarrassed in our first game. We are the host school and everyone is expecting us to do well."

Austria's wards made sure that won't happen as they controlled the match from start to finish, only suffering a minor hiccup when UP charged back to keep the game close in the third.

Leading by five after a Sam Marata triple, the Falcons unleashed a backbreaking 15-2 bomb in the third period to pull away and build a 53-35 advantage.

But the Maroons gallantly fought back behind the play of diminutive guard Henry Asilum, inching to as close as 55-49 right before the third period ended.

Back-to-back baskets by Cruz gave Adamson a 60-49 lead heading into the final canto then an 11-5 swing spearheaded by Cruz, Harry Petilos and Michael Agustin handed the Falcons enough cushion at 71-54, 5:34 left on the clock.

Roider Cabrera added 11 points and nine rebounds for Adamson while six other players contributed in scoring for the Falcons, who shot 48.4% from the field throughout the game.

Meanwhile, Marata top scored for the Maroons with 20 points while Asilum and lumbering big man Raul Soyud each posted 10 markers.

The Scores:

Adamson 79 – Cruz 19, Sewa 15, Cabrera 11, Brondial 9, Petilos 8, Julkipli 8, Rios 4, Iñigo 3, Agustin 2, Trollano 0, Ochea 0, Monteclaro 0, Bernabe 0, Abrigo 0.

UP 67 – Marata 20, Soyud 10, Asilum 10, Lao 6, Wong 4, Reyes 4, Pascual 4, Ball 4, Gallarza 3, Harris 2, Paras 0, Ligad 0, Gingerich 0.

Quarter Scores: 18-13, 36-28, 60-49, 79-67.