THE University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers out-rebounded the Adamson Soaring Falcons, but their awful shooting in the end proved to be their undoing.
Cameroonian big man Papi Sarr carried much of the rebounding load for the Soaring Falcons as they went on to swamp the Growling Tigers, 79-52, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Sarr’s efforts underneath contributed much to the Soaring Falcons’ fourth win in seven games at the end of the first round of the 79th Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.
Coach Franz Pumaren took note of Sarr’s double-double performance after he finished with 16 points and 25 rebounds, saying that as the second round begins this Saturday, the other bigs of the Falcons should be reinforcing him in the shaded lanes.
“That’s the thing that we’re working on. We are relying too much on Papi in getting the rebounds. Our big man coach is already calling the attention of our players. Papi can’t get all the rebounds most of the time,” said Pumaren.
The Falcons, who bounced back from two straight losses, including a 57-64 setback to the University of the East Warriors, held down the Growling Tigers to just eight points in the third period.
As UST struggled with their 27 percent field goal shooting, Adamson capitalized on their foe’s nine big turnovers in the second half, to lead by as much as 27 points.
Seldom-used Nicholas Paranada, who had 14 points, and Jerick Ahanmisi, who tallied 11, joined hands for 13 points in the third as they led the Falcons 59-37 advantage.
Kent Lao shot 13 for the Growling Tigers, who fell behind with their 2-5 card, putting their chances of making it to the Final Four in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Richard Escoto’s timely three-point play in the last 1:26 helped carry the defending champion Far Eastern University Tamaraws to a 78-75 triumph over the National University Bulldogs.
With their 76-71 lead, the Tams went on to earn their fifth win in seven games and finished second at the end of the first round.
Monbert Arong showed the way with 20 points.
2 p.m. UST vs UE
4 p.m. Ateneo vs UP
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