With their backs against the wall the Adamson University Baby Falcons relied heavily on their three-point shooting to survive a cardiac ball game against the De La Salle-Zobel Junior Archers 90-89 in the 73rd season of the UAAP Juniors Basketball Tournament last July 17 at the FilOil Arena in San Juan.
It was a slow start for the Baby Falcons as they found themselves buried in a nine-point hole dug by the Junior Archers’ balanced attack in the third quarter.
A pivotal spurt enabled Adamson to take the lead late in the third but La Salle countered with its own run to finish the quarter tied 59-59.
Then, a series of scoring outburst exchanged by both teams in the fourth canto pushed the game into overtime.
It was then that the Baby Falcons showcased their shooting prowess from behind the arc. Hotshot Kenneth Llanderes prompted the Baby Falcons’ comeback with 21 points, five rebounds, five steals and an assist. It was his three-point shooting, however, that propelled Adamson’s run in the extra period.
Still, the stubborn Junior Archers refused to go down and kept on coming back, highlighted by an acrobatic layup by Gabriel Reyes to give La Salle the lead 89-87 with only 23.3 seconds left in overtime.
From then on it was clear that the ball will go to the hot hands of Llanderes to win the game for the Baby Falcons but La Salle’s defense made sure that will not happen. So they went to another shooter, Ambert Hermoso, who then missed a hurried attempt.
Luckily for Adamson, guard Ivan Villondo got the rebound and sank the game winner amidst the roaring at the Arena.
With the win Adamson tied the defending champions Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglets on top of the team standings with a 2-0 record. Jan Allen Puertollano