Lastimosa ignites Adamson surge, ends UP’s hot streak

By Crisdenmar Dela Cruz

PHOTO: Tiebreaker Times

Jerom Lastimosa gave Adamson a huge lift in the fourth quarter as the Soaring Falcons snapped the historic eight-game winning streak of UP Fighting Maroons, 66-58, in the UAAP S84 Men's basketball eliminations on Thursday at the MOA Arena.

Adamson nearly squandered a 17-point lead but managed to hold on as third-year guard Lastimosa launched eight of his 13 points in the final frame, including the stepback triple that put Adamson ahead for good, 62-57, with 23.3 seconds left.

He also had five rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a steal as the Soaring Falcons grabbed their third straight victory.

After multiple heartbreaking losses in the first round, Adamson is now knocking on the door of the Final Four, entering a three-way tie at fourth place with NU and FEU.

“I was observing the other team nung kumakanta sila nung school hymn and in my mind, mag-isa ako doon parang wow. Puro nalang ako wow doon sa kabilang side because we were able to beat a powerhouse team,” said Racela.

Didat Hanapi and Joem Sabandal chalked up 12 and 11 markers, respectively, while Cedrick Manzano chipped in eight points and grabbed 11 boards before fouling out with a minute and 49 to play in the game.

The Soaring Falcons established a comfortable 30-13 cushion in the second quarter thanks to their hot shooting and defensive prowess that forced UP to remain scoreless in seven minutes.

The Fighting Maroons caught up by pouncing on Adamson’s turnovers and managed to trim the deficit to just eight points at the end of the first half, 36-28.

UP came close several times in the second half, only for Adamson to respond with big shots after big shots.

The Falcons had a 59-57 lead with 37 seconds left after Ricci Rivero sank two charities, but the nephew of PBA legend Jojo Lastimosa put on a "Mr. 4th Quarter Man" show after nailing the exclamation trey.

Ricci Rivero and Carl Tamayo contributed with 14 and 12 markers, respectively, for UP, while Malick Diouf had seven points and 10 boards.

However, Zavier Lucero, a top MVP candidate after the first round, struggled from the field, scoring only seven points on 2-of-9 shooting. He had seven boards and a steal.

The Fighting Maroons suffered their second loss in 10 games after shooting 30.8 percent from the field and committing 20 turnovers.

The Soaring Falcons will strengthen their fourth-place bid on Saturday, facing the Growling Tigers (3-7) at 10 a.m., while the Fighting Maroons will clash with the Green Archers (7-3) for the 2nd seed at 4:30 p.m.



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