Rookie waxes hot as Falcons drub Warriors

A rampaging start was all Adamson needed to soar past University of the East Saturday.

With Jericho Cruz waxing hot early on, the Falcons used a red-hot first quarter showing as a springboard, cruising to a masterful 89-69 victory over the Red Warriors in the UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball action at the MOA Arena.

A transferee from Rizal Technological University, Cruz showed no signs of flu effects, rifling in three straight triples and collecting 11 of his 21 marks, as the Falcons banked on a 28-point explosion to quickly put away the Warriors and gain their third win against the 10 defeats.

Roider Cabrera added 15 points while center Rodney Brondial contributed a double-double outing of 14 markers and 11 boards for the free-flowing Falcons, who drained 13 treys and issued 29 assists, underscoring their near-flawless game this season.

“Everybody’s trying to be recognized,” stressed Adamson coach Leo Austria. “I’m happy to see some of the players like Jericho Cruz stepping up. It seems naka-adapt na siya sa system pati sa (UAAP) tournament.”

And Cruz seems ready to completely take the cudgels for Adamson next season.

“Last two days may flu si Cruz but I’m confident with him. Ever since na nakita ko siyang maglaro sa UniGames, hindi ko na pinakawalan. It seems na siya ang lumalabas ngayon. Nakikita naman natin. He’s consistent the last five games,” Austria added.

“We have nothing to lose. Kaya medyo na-ease ‘yung pressure. Walang pressure tense ‘yung mga plays.”

Roi Sumang paced all scorers with 24 points, 18 coming in the first half, plus eight rebounds and six assists while Chris Javier scattered 18 markers and 10 boards for UE, which failed to duplicate its 71-66 win over Adamson in their first-round meeting last August 15.

Protecting a 12-7 lead, Cruz drilled in three straight triples and sparked the Falcons telling 16-7 breakaway to erect a whopping 28-14 cushion after the first 10 minutes.

Adamson repeatedly enjoyed several 21-point leads in the second before UE came closest at 62-76–off a Sumido bucket–but Cruz shredded the Warriors’ hopes with four straight points, virtually wrapping the game up for the Falcons with still 4:28 left.

“We have nothing to lose. Medyo ease ‘yung pressure sa mga bata kaya hindi tense ang kanilang plays,” noted Austria.

Adamson, which made it to the Final Four last season, closes out campaign against semis hopeful La Salle on September 20 and Austria wants his wards to finish it with a bang, saying: “Hindi namin tinitignan ‘yung standings naming at nila. What’s important for us is to win that game. We all know na kailangan nila and that game is very important sa kanila. Pero kailangan rin namin maipanala para magkaro’n ng statement bago matapos ang season.”


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.