JERICK Ahanmisi missed an important three-point shot in the last 1.4 seconds. But two teammates were waiting underneath.
Papi Sarr bungled a follow-up, but Sean Manganti canned a putback that propelled the Adamson Falcons to a 73-71 verdict over the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons yesterday at the Big Dome.
Manganti’s basket found its mark after it sailed over the outretched hands of Juan Gomez de Liano and sent the Falcons to their fourth win in six games in the 80th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.
It was a close call for the Falcons, who coach Franz Pumaren admitted have been struggling all afternoon.
Ahanmisi, who only scored three of six triples, went on to finish with a game-high 21 points for the Falcons, who climbed to a tie for third with the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
“This is a good test for us. That crucial moment of a game. We can survive a game like this,” said Pumaren.
The Fighting Maroons, who dropped to fourth at 3-3, got off to a good start after taking a 25-16 edge in the opening period, with De Liano making seven of his eight points in the first 10 minutes.
The 6’2” Ahanmisi drilled in 17 points in the second period as the Falcons threatened by a point, 43-44, at halftime.
The Fighting Maroons, with Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo making 19 points, then fought the Falcons to four deadlocks.
Desiderio’s layup past Sarr with 22.1 seconds left allowed UP to tie the contest for the last time at 71-all.
Meanwhile, Ben Mbala scored another personal best for the third time this season, making 39 points in leading the defending champion La Salle Green Archers to a 106-100 smothering of the University of the East Warriors.
Mbala, who also had 15 rebounds, tallied 11 points in the second period as the Green Archers moved ahead, 54-42.
Abu Tratter backed up Mbala with 24 points as La Salle went on to post its fifth victory in six outings and stayed in second place.
ADAMSON 73 – Ahanmisi 21, Pingoy 10, Manalang 8, Manganti 8, Sarr 6, Lojera 5, Ochea 5, Hill 4, Espeleta 4, Bernardo 2, Mustre 0, Zaldivar 0
UP 71 – Desiderio 19, Manzo 19, Gomez de Liano Ja 8, Ouattara 8, Lao 4, Dario 3, Gomez de Liano Ju 3, Prado 3, Lim 2, Battad 2, Vito 0
QUARTER SCORES: 16-25, 43-44, 57-54, 73-71