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Clean Adamson keeps lead

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Adamson fended off National University’s (NU) rallies to win, 63-58, in a low scoring game to stretch its unbeaten run to five games in the 81st University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

But the win didn’t come easy for the Soaring Falcons as they needed to recover from a squandered 14-point lead late in the third period.

In full control, 40-26, in the last three minutes of the third quarter, league-leading Adamson suddenly fell to the Bulldogs’ ambush, allowing a massive 13-3 rally to see its advantage shake at 43-39 early in the final canto.

Fortunately for the unscathed San Marcelino-based squad, Simon Camacho came sizzling with an 8-2 retaliation to install order back to Adamson, 51-41, only 6:28 to go.

NU attempted another uprising down the stretch, capped by Dave Ildefonso’s trey to inch within 58-61 in the last 17.9 seconds but it hardly mattered anymore as time was on Adamson’s side.

With this victory, Adamson improved to a league-best 5-0 slate and now moved two wins away from sweeping the first round with still two games against fellow Final Four hopefuls Far Eastern University and De La Salle University.

“We’re lucky to survive that ambush. We made a lot of mistakes and we made it difficult on our part,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren after his boys repeatedly wasted double digit leads throughout the whole game.

“But I also anticipated that NU would come out strong especially coming off a tough loss to La Salle and having a week-long preparation for us.”

Hobbled by a leg injury scare in the third period, Sean Manganti returned in the final canto and iced the game for Adamson with two crucial freebies in the last 14 points for the final count.

He finished with 14 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Cameroonian import Papi Sarr also tallied a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds for the unbeaten Adamson while sniper Jerrick Ahanmisi and Camacho chipped in 11 and eight points, respectively.

NU absorbed its third straight loss at 1-3. The Bulldogs’ lone win was over University of Santo Tomas, 75-70, in season opener earlier this month.

Ildefonso and Antonio Joson paced the Bulldogs with 14 and 11 points, respectively, while player Troy Rike dropped a near double-double of eight points and 11 rebounds.

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