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Adamson ends winless streak to close out UAAP elims

By Ivan Saldajeno

The Adamson Soaring Falcons did not go home empty-handed at the end of the elimination round of the UAAP men's basketball tournament after scoring their only win of the year against the UP Fighting Maroons, 67-63, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Dawn Ochea delivered the goods as he scored the go-ahead layup against UP's pressure defense as Adamson bucked a slow start and a late drought to give Kenneth Duremdes his very first win as the team's coach.

The Fighting Maroons surged to a 24-12 lead at the end of the first quarter behind six three-pointers.

The Soaring Falcons, however, outscored the Fighting Maroons, 13-6, in the next period to cut the latter's lead to only five, 30-25, at the half.

Adamson finally took the lead, 40-36, after starting the third frame on a 13-4 run.

UP kept in pace the rest of the quarter, but Adamson retained the advantage, 50-45, entering the fourth.

The Falcons threatened to pull away after igniting a 9-2 run to open a 59-47 lead with 7:03 left.

The Maroons, however, outscored the Falcons, 16-4, in the next six minutes to tie the game at 63-all behind Mikee Reyes and Diego Dario.

But Ochea got past the UP press and broke free for the layup in the next play that turned out to be the game-winner.

The Maroons, after a timeout, turned it over in the ensuing possession

But the Falcons also lost the ball afterward, giving the Maroons one more crack at the win with 20.7 seconds on the clock.

Mikee Reyes, however, muffed the go-ahead three-pointer at the corner.

Axel Iñigo secured the board and sealed Adamson's win with two free throws.

Both teams finished their UAAP campaign with identical 1-13 records.

UP's lone win came against the same Adamson squad in the first round.

Playing their final game in their college careers, Don Trollano scored 21 points, while Jansen Rios added 11 for Adamson.

Batang Gilas alumnus Dario led the Fighting Maroons with 13 markers, while fellow ex-RP Youth Team member Kyles Lao added 11.

Box Scores:

Adamson 67-Trollano 21, Rios 11, Ochea 9, Monteclaro 7, Polican 5, Iñigo 4, Pedrosa 3, Barrera 2, Garcia 0, Nalos 0

UP 63-Dario 13, Lao 11, Gingerich 10, Reyes 9, Moralde 8, Gallarza 7, Juruena 3, Asilum 2, Vito 0, Harris 0
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