By Jun Ray Navarres
Ateneo de Manila University capitalized on Jarred Brown’s hot shooting night to trample on Adamson University, 70-48, booking the last ticket of UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Final Four, Wednesday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Blue Eagles flew higher than the Soaring Falcons as they were unreachable starting from the get-go, setting an early 8-0 lead off of Brown’s treys. The rookie from Westmont College was already shooting 3 out of 4 from beyond the arc during the first quarter and finished with 14 points at the half.
“Our coaches have been preaching the game plan and (we were) just following what they would say, and I think today we really followed it to a tee, and we executed what they wanted,” said Brown.
Ateneo’s first-year guard Brown, who only shot 1-for-12 in their meeting with De La Salle University finished with 20 points, four rebounds, four assists, and a steal against the Soaring Falcons.
“I think I was just getting the shots. My teammates were just finding me the right spots and it was my job to just knock them down. I didn’t really have a good shooting game last game so I needed to hit those. Luckily, they went in,” he humbly added.
Already up by 14 before the third stanza, the Blue Eagles boosted their advantage to 17, 56-39, providing all the necessary answers to Adamson’s surges.
Kai Ballungay, Sean Quiteves, and Joseph Obasa shut all the remaining lights in front of Adamson, dealing a massive 25-point lead, 67-42 with less than five minutes left in the game.
As the game progressed, Adamson’s pillar and graduating guard Jerom Lastimosa played his last UAAP game after being sidelined for most of the season due to an ACL injury. He shot a buzzer beater to close out the game and also his collegiate career.
Quiteves made 11 buckets, Mason Amos added 10 points, while Ballungay ended with seven points and seven rebounds. Obasa provided the rebounding that Ateneo needed with 16 boards to go with his four points and two blocks.
Nobody reached double digit scoring for Adamson with only Matt Erolon tallying nine points and Didap Hanapi going for eight baskets.
Ateneo will be facing the top-seeded University of the Philippines with a tough twice-to-beat advantage.
Featured photo courtesy of UAAP
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