Posted Feb 16th 2014
Ateneo gores Adamson for 1st win
By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 15th 2013
The champs finally showed up.
Four players finished in double figures as Ateneo de Manila University deflated Adamson University, 71-59, for their first win in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Off to their worst start in 16 years, the Blue Eagles relied on a total team effort to thwart the Soaring Falcons and snap a three-game losing spell.
"More than anything else, this is a relief," admitted coach Bo Perasol. "If you keep on losing, it's kind of trying to challenge your confidence."
If this game's any indication, though, there would be no need to question Ateneo's confidence now.
Juami Tiongson finally got his groove back, firing 15 points and hauling down eight boards.
JP Erram had his best game since returning from a major injury with 12 points on 67% shooting and 12 rebounds.
Ryan Buenafe flirted with a triple-double by confidently posting 11 points, 12 boards and nine assists.
More importantly, 11 of the 12 players Perasol fielded contributed to the box score, as both starters and bench players teamed up to deliver the Eagles their first win.
"A team is going to be solid when your bench is able to deliver when your starters are not there," Perasol said. "They (bench players) were like my starters when they played (today)."
Ateneo shot 44.3% from the field as a team while also scoring their biggest win of the night: outrebounding the bigger Falcons, 49-37.
Entering the game, Adamson was the best rebounding team in the UAAP, but with Ingrid Sewa bothered by a shoulder injury he aggravated in the opening period and Rodney Brondial apparently out of sync, the Eagles ruled the boards.
"It is always a challenge for our team to be able to match up with the big guys," Perasol added. "Our emphasis for the past days in practice was that we need to bridge the gap of our rebounding averages against Adamson."
The Katipunan-based squad also forced the Falcons out on the perimeter. Adamson took the bait and dearly paid for it.
The Season 76 hosts attempted 32 shots from rainbow territory, connecting on only eight for a pathetic 25% clip. They also shot 13 of 38 from within the arc to finish the match shooting just 30%.
Jericho Cruz and Roider Cabrera scored 21 and 14 points, respectively, but typified the Falcons' staid offensive attack by making just 13 of 39 shots combined.
ADMU (71) - Tiongson 15, Erram 12, Buenafe 11, Newsome 10, Golla 6, Ravena 4, Capacio 4, Pessumal 3, Tolentino 2, Lim 2, Elorde 2, Enriquez 0
ADU (59) - Cruz 21, Cabrera 14, Brondial 8, Sewa 4, Inigio 3, Agustin 3, Rios 2, Monteclaro 2, Abrigo 2, Trollano 0, Petilos 0, Julkipli 0
Quarters: 13-16, 32-28, 57-47, 71-59