By June Ray Navarres
Ateneo de Manila University escaped Adamson University with a fourth quarter comeback, 62-58 for the fourth spot in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Sunday afternoon at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
From a 4-20 third quarter scoring output, the Blue Eagles turned things around with a 20-9 revival to secure their sixth win of the season.
Ateneo improved to 6-6 while Adamson slipped to fifth with 5-7.
“It’s as tough as it gets. That’s the Adamson team, that’s the Adamson coaching staff. They just grind you down and they’re doing it to everybody. Every time they play, it’s a battle and it’s never easy against them,” said Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin.
“I thought we played a really good first half. I thought we played really smart, and we played really tough, and it was the kind of game I was hoping for, low scoring, we had the edge.”
Didap Hanapi capped Adamson’s third quarter run with six straight points (his total for the game) to secure a 49-42 lead going into the final frame.
After getting into a deadlock at 52 with less than six minutes left, both teams engaged in a three-point shootout, 59-58.
Drought however, struck the Falcons as they failed to convert four consecutive attempts at the basket including Hanapi’s fadeaway which missed the basket badly and sent Sean Quitevis into the free throw line.
Quitevis split his charities, but Joseph Obasa picked up the loose ball for another trip at the line and iced the game for Ateneo.
“To us, it was really important to stick to our defensive principles this game,” said Quitevis, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Obasa and Kai Ballungay provided 10 points and eight rebounds each.
On the other hand, Matthew Montebon was the only one for Adamson to reach double digit scoring with 13 points.
The huge difference in foul and free throws hurt Adamson despite being in penalty early in the final stanza but was not able to book a trip to the line compared to Ateneo’s 15 attempts.
Nonetheless, Adamson will look to upset National University when they meet on Wednesday while Ateneo hopes to better their position against University of the East on the same day at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Featured photo courtesy of UAAP
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