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EAC upsets UP, Adamson takes down Oraeme-less Mapua
by rick olivares
It was a day for big wins by teams looking for their form.
The Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals held off repeated rallies by the UP Fighting Maroons in the end game for a 68-59 victory while the Adamson Falcons found their verve in the endgame to squeak past an Allwell Oraeme-less Mapua, 85-81, in last Saturday’s Filoil Flying V Premier Cup matches at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The EAC Generals have made a bad habit of giving up huge leads before rallying in the fourth. Unfortunately for EAC, time always ran out on their spirited comebacks. Against UP, they didn't wait for the fourth quarter to rally.
The Generals have the talent to compete in the NCAA this year but putting it together is all together another matter. In the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup, opposing teams have spotted EAC a huge lead heading into the fourth period. It is with time running out that the Generals make their move. And more often than not, they run out of time.
Against the hot UP Fighting Maroons who are on a two-match win streak, the Generals overcame an early 12-10 deficit to take the lead and hold off one rally after another for a 68-59 win.
EAC's duo of center Hamadou Laminou and forward Sidney Onwubere were a handful for UP as they dominated the shaded lane with only UP’s Andrew Harris battling them for control.
Laminou, the Yaounde, Cameroon native, in his best performance of the tournament, scored a game high 23 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and turned away four UP shots to lead the Generals to a badly needed victory. Fourth year forward, Onwubere, repeatedly attacked UP’s interior defense for 16 points and 17 boards while also rejecting two shots.
“Those two,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol, “were a handful.”
When the Fighting Maroons rallied in the second half, Irvin Mendoza and Francis Munsayac put out the fire with a combined three huge triples.
“We need this for our confidence,” said EAC assistant coach Bong Melocoton who subbed in for head coach Aris Sison who had other urgent matters to attend to. “We always start poor and that hurts us in the end game. This is a good win because UP has a very good team; they are very competitive with a lot of scorers.”
UP was led by point guard Diego Dario who finished with 12 points while forward Dave Moralde added 11.
EAC registered its first win for a 3-1 record while UP fell to 2-2.
The Adamson Falcons faced sterner opposition than they thought in taking down an Allwell Oraeme-less Mapua squad, 85-81. The Cardinals actually took the first half, 43-40, behind heady play by their guard corps of CJ Isit, Exie Biteng, and Andrew Estrella.
A three-point barrage by the Falcons’ three guard lineup of JV Pasturan, Rob Manalang, and Nick Paranada to start the third period saw Adamson take the lead for the first time, 49-47. The Falcons looked to take over the game after erecting a 10-point lead, 61-51, after a Manalang jumper but Mapua launched their own salvo from three-point range behind Almel Orquina and Biteng to re-take the lead, 68-67.
After a Dawn Ochea free throw and an undergoal stab, Adamson took a 77-73 lead, one the would not relinquish.
With the score knotted one last time at 81-all, Falcons’ shooting guard Harold Ng found center Papi Sarr at the post. Adamson’s second year center scored on a spin move around Mapua center Renell Magboo. Ng hit two more free throws at the end for the final score, 85-81.
Without their center, Oraeme, who was suspended in the Cardinals’ last match versus La Salle, Sarr had his way inside pounding Mapua while protecting the rim with three block shots.
It was the Falcons’ third straight win after dropping their opening two assignments against La Salle and Ateneo. Mapua lost its third straight after winning their opener against San Sebastian.
Papi Sarr led Adamson with 27 points and 16 rebounds while Harold Ng added 13.
Mapua saw four players score in double digits with graduating point guard CJ Isit leading the way with 19 points. Andrew Estrella, Almel Orquina, and Exie Biteng chipped in 13, 11, and 10 points respectively in this loss.