Adamson retains Passerelle NCR title, pips LSGH

Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—Adamson broke away late to beat La Salle-Greenhills, 64-57, in the championship game of the Milo BEST Center Passerelle Tournament at the Jacinto Tiu Center inside the Xavier School campus on Sunday.

The Baby Falcons rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Greenies and earn the right to represent the Big City in the national finals on Dec. 3 and 4 in Bacolod, where they are the defending champions as well.

Adamson actually went to a hot start, going on an 8-0 run in almost a minute and a half after giving up the game's first deuce.

But LSGH recovered through a 17-4 run that spanned to the early goings of the second quarter to go ahead, 19-12.

The Baby Falcons answered with 10 unanswered points, and the match became tight the rest of the second and the start of the third.

The Greenies looked to pull away by going on a 12-0 rally for the game's largest lead at 46-37 with 30.8 seconds left in the third period.

But the Baby Falcons began the fourth with a 15-2 run to claim the edge for good, 55-50

Rey Mutiangpili tried to keep LSGH in the game with back-to-back baskets, but Adamson returned the favor with a 9-2 capped by five straight points from Nicole Quinal including a dagger trey with 1:02 left to seal the win.

Quinal finished with 16 points, four rebounds, and four steals, while Ahmad Hanapi, who was named the tournament MVP, added a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds with three assists and two steals for the Baby Falcons, who grabbed 20 swipes in total.

Mutiangpili led the Greenies, who have second-generation ballers in Basti Location, Kenji Duremdes, and Jacob Cortez, with his own double-double of 10 markers and 13 caroms.

Meanwhile, Ateneo, led by 6-foot-9 prodigy Kai Sotto, trounced San Beda-Taytay, 71-60, for third place.

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