Manganti’s putback lifts Falcons to victory

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Sean Manganti sank the game-winning putback as Adamson University outlasted University of the Philippines (UP), 73-71, to seize a share of the third spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

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Manganti converted an offensive rebound off a missed shot by Papi Sarr with 1.2 seconds left as the Soaring Falcons bucked a sluggish start en route to nailing their third straight win for a 4-2 win-loss record, tied on No. 3 with idle Far Eastern University.

“We were lucky to win. The whole game, we’re struggling. We had a flat start. We made a lot of mental mistakes,” said Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren.

Tyrus Hill (33) and Papi Sarr (21) of Adamson University battle for the ball against Kyles Lao (4) and Ibrahim Quattara (11) of UP during the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“This is a good test on our part that in the crucial moments of the game, we can survive a game like this,” added Pumaren.

Jerrick Ahanmisi exploded with 21 points, including 17 markers in the second period, Jerie Pingoy chalked 10 points while Manganti and Rob Manalang added eight markers apiece for the Falcons.

Ahanmisi and Manganti powered the Falcons in erasing a 14-point deficit in the opening period.

“I anticipated that they (UP) will come out in a different manner, which they showed. They were really aggressive,” said Pumaren.

Jun Manzo and Paul Desiderio drilled in 19 points apiece for the Fighting Maroons, who remained on No. 4 following back-to-back defeats.

The Diliman-based Maroons got off to a hot start as they cruised to blazing 15-1 run capped by Manzo’s basket for a 17-3 lead early in the game.

The sophomore guard Ahanmisi waxed hot in the second quarter, knocking down three triples to cut the Falcons’ deficit to a lone point, 43-44, entering halftime.

Adamson snatched the lead in the third period and enjoyed a 63-57 cushion early in the final frame but UP staged a 10-2 rally to regain the upper hand, 67-65, with 4:48 left.

Rob Manalang fired a triple to give the Falcons a 71-69 advantage but Desiderio’s layup brought the game to a 71-71 deadlock with 22 seconds remaining.

After his go-ahead putback, Manganti played tight defense on Desiderio, leading to an errant inbound pass as time expired.

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