Sean Manganti came up with a season-high performance as he towed the Adamson Falcons to a 90-76 whipping of the University of the East Warriors—and into their best start in years.
Manganti scored 27 points in leading the Falcons to their second straight win Wednesday in the 81st University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After making only four points in their 74-70 upset of the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles, the 6’5” Manganti contributed big time to the Falcons’ best start in 15 years.
This almost eclipsed the game of Alvin Pasaol, who finished with his second career-high output of 36 since his last season’s 49 points for the Warriors, who now have dropped down the standing with their second straight setback.
The Falcons treated their game with the Warriors with urgency, with Jerrick Ahanmisi and Papi Sarr adding 17 and 15 points, respectively. Sarr also had 21 rebounds, his most since last year.
They took control of the game with a 17-0 blast in the last six minutes of the second period.
Sarr got things started with a jumper off Ahanmisi’s rebound.
Then, Ahanmisi took over, hitting 13 points, including three triples in the last 1:17 to lead Adamson to a 42-28 advantage.
“Nothing against UE, but we made it a very important game on our part,” said Falcons’ coach Franz Pumaren after they forced UE to 19 turnovers.
It was Manganti’s turn to score big for the Falcons in the third period, where he unloaded 14 points.
His triple and dunk in the remaining 6:46 allowed Adamson to grab a 14-point edge, 60-36.
The Falcons went on to take their biggest lead of 67-47, behind Jonathan Espeleta’s three-pointer in the final 1:24 of the fourth.
The Falcons played without point guard Jerie Pingoy, who was benched for reporting late for the team’s call time.
Justine Baltazar scored on a pass by Andrei Caracut in the last 28 seconds as La Salle grabbed an 80-76 win over National University.
After NU turned the ball over, Caracut made two charities in the final 10.7 seconds, sending the Archers to their first victory in two games.