Falcons fall to Ateneo after controversial fourth quarter collapse

Date Posted: November 17, 2023 at 04:34 PM

Adamson men’s basketball team came close to earning solo fourth in the UAAP 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament standing, but failed to catch a break, resulting in a crucial loss to Ateneo de Manila University, 58-62, last November 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

A shooting barrage in the third quarter from the Nash Racela-mentored squad stunned the Blue Eagles, resulting in a 20-4 surge and a 7-point edge entering the deciding frame.  

Ateneo, though, unleashed a counter run early in the fourth quarter capped by a Kai Ballungay lay-in which tied the game at 52 with six minutes remaining. 

Matt Erolon then answered with a booming trey which broke the silence for Adamson after going scoreless for nearly the first half of the final canto. 

The Falcons then hit a snag when Didat Hanapi and Ced Manzano committed personal fouls, allowing the Blue Eagles to score freebies in the clutch en route to a crucial win that made them favorites to bag the final spot in this season’s final four. 

Mathew Montebon paced the Falcons with 13 points, while John Arthur Calisay contributed nine markers but also committed 4 turnovers. 

The San Marcelino-based squad now sit in the fifth spot with a 5-7 slate.  

During the post-game interview, AdU head coach Nash Racela expressed dismay at the calls during the game. 

“As a coach, I should be happy with the way our players competed but it’s not enough that you just compete. I think today, maybe I would agree Ateneo played great fourth quarter, but this is something that surprised me. When we were up six points at the end of the third, we got into penalty right away. It’s seven and a half minutes when we were up by six,” the third-year coach said. also pointing out the free throw disparity in the deciding frame, where Ateneo shot 15 freebies while Adamson had none. 

“We got nothing. That’s the sad part. They’re taking away a lot from our players. I’d like to credit Ateneo for that game. Maybe they made great adjustments in the fourth quarter. That’s your narrative every time I see you, right, fourth quarter adjustment, adjustment,” he furthered. 

Adamson was also called for a total of 11 fouls in the fourth compared to Ateneo’s two. 

The soft-spoken mentor also expressed his empathy to his players after what he saw as unfair treatment towards them. 

“Kawawa ang mga bata. ‘Di bale ako, [kaming] coaches sanay na kami dyan. Whatever we coach, these things happen. But give these kids a chance. Nag-aaral [din sila]. Midterms nga [nila] this week, eh. They have to go to school and take their exams. [They have to] study, practice with the schedule that we have. At least man lang, give them a fair chance,” 
The Falcons will look to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss as they take National University this November 15 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.