Papi Sarr fueled Adamson University to an 86-70 demolition of University of the Philippines (UP) and into the Final Four of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Sarr drilled in a huge double-double of 25 points and 17 rebounds as the Soaring Falcons nailed their ninth win against four losses to seal the third spot for a return trip to the semifinals.
Jerie Pingoy chipped in an all-around effort of 15 points, eight assists, six steals, four rebounds and a block while Jerrick Ahanmisi and Robbie Manalang added 11 and 10 markers respectively for Adamson.
Paul Desiderio tallied a team-high 20 points and Jun Manzo scored 15 markers for the Fighting Maroons, who dropped to the fifth spot with a 5-7 win-loss record.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern University (FEU) rode on a strong second half as it thrashed University of the East (UE), 79-63, to strengthen its Final Four bid.
The Tamaraws bucked a sluggish first half then came alive in the final two quarters, outgunning the Red Warriors, 50-30, as they solidified their hold of No. 4 with an even 6-6 win-loss record.
“I’m just proud of the way my players played in the second half. We might not have a good first half but the second half was really much better,” said FEU head coach Olsen Racela.
The Morayta-based cagers also bounced back from a stinging 56-59 defeat to University of the Philippines, which is also in the running for a playoff spot.
“Well, after that loss to UP, we really needed this win. This is a good confidence-booster for us going into the homestretch,” said the rookie mentor.
Jasper Parker pumped in a career-high 18 points, pouring half of those in the crucial fourth quarter, while Prince Orizu tallied a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double performance and Arvin Tolentino chipped in 10 markers off the bench.
FEU scattered away 17 triples, including five treys in the payoff period, and outhustled UE in the rebounding department, 55-42, as the Tamaraws extended their streak to six wins over the Red Warriors.
Alvin Pasaol finished with 18 points and seven rebounds while Mark Olayon scored 14 markers on top of six assists for the Warriors.
UE got formally booted out of the playoff picture with their third straight loss and 10th overall against three wins.
After trailing behind by four points at halftime, the Tamaraws raced to a 9-2 run anchored on Jojo Trinidad and Orizu to snatch away the lead, 38-35.
The two teams exchanged rallies at the tailend of the third period as they settled for a 49-49 deadlock heading into the final frame.
FEU notched a 58-53 lead on Richard Escoto’s completed three-point play but UE was quick to close in at 55-58 with Pasaol’s layup at the 6:38 mark.
The host school then sparked a furious 16-6 run capped by Parker’s triple from the corner as the Tamaraws posted a commanding 74-60 lead with 2:08 remaining.
UE tried to kindle a final run but Parker and company were quick to douse a possible late comeback from the Warriors.