Saturday, 18 May 2013 6 Comments
Preseason tourneys are made for teams to prepare, experiment, and work out what they will do come the big tournaments.
For the Falcons, they are looking to be a viable threat come Season 76 of the UAAP.
The Adamson Soaring Falcons continued to show how much they’ve grown as they cleared up the College of St. Benilde Blazers, 80-63, Saturday in the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
Three Falcons finished with double digit outputs including Jericho Cruz who had 25, Ingrid Sewa who had 24 along with his 12 boards, and Rodney Brondial who added 13.
“I think that, slowly, these players are improving a lot especially these three guys (Sewa, Brondial, Cruz). Jericho (Cruz) is consistent and is doing a lot of scoring. And Sewa, you can see his dominance in the shaded area offensively. But defensively he needs a lot of things to improve. And also Brondial, coming off of an injury (ankle), now he’s showing a good shine,” said Adamson head coach Leo Austria who was quick to praise his wards for their hard work.
His Falcons doused buckets of water on the Blazers’ late game rallies by exuding teamwork and composure as they pulled away in the final two minutes of the contest.
Adamson erected a daunting 19-point lead with 35 seconds left courtesy of a split from the line by their imposing slotman, Ingrid Sewa.
It all started, however, after the Blazers came to within nine, 70-61, thanks to a trey by Luis Sinco, who scored seven points and dished out five assists, with only 3:48 remaining.
Then, Rodney Brondial put on his hero’s cape as he scored six straight points that effectively shut the door on the Blazers.
Coach Leo admitted, though, that he was still not happy with their performance. “I’m still not happy (with) the way we played because there’s a lot of room for improvement na pwede niyo makita this coming UAAP.”
One of them is the advantage he sees in exploiting the high-low offensive production of Sewa and Brondial, coupled with a slasher in Cruz. Though he admitted that they are still working on it.
“These three players should jell in the nearest possible time, sabi niyo nga formidable, because I hope na dumating nga sa time na ‘yun eh (that Adamson would be a formidable team). But right now, they still keep on adjusting,” he said.
The Falcons did not let their guard down throughout the match though, starting out strong with a 21-17 lead in the first canto.
Benilde put up a little fight in the second period but a couple of good consecutive plays–including a steal that resulted to a breakaway basket and a pull-up jumper by Brondial in the dying seconds–allowed the Falcons to end the first half on a good note, 38-31.
The Blazers kept it relatively close in the second half as they were all over the floor collecting 14 offensive rebounds and tried to out-hustle Adamson. The former wasn’t able to make much out of their second cracks at the basket as they only had six second chance points against 18 by the Falcons.
Coach Leo’s boys capitalized on this as they warded off every spurt from Benilde, entering the payoff period with a slight cushion, 58-53.
The final frame saw Adamson baring their claws as Ryan Monteclaro converted an offensive rebound into a basket to make it a 14-point lead for his squad with less than five minutes left to play.
The Blazers eventually succumbed to the huge double digit deficit, falling to a 2-4 win-loss slate. Adamson climbed to 3-2.
Mark Romero carried his team on his shoulders as he was the only player from his team to score in double digits, 21 markers on 82% field goal shooting.
Forward Fons Saavedra chipped in nine points as he struggled from the field, making only one of his five attempts. He also threw bricks from rainbow country as he shot 2 of 6 from that area, good for only 33%.
ADAMSON 80: Cruz 25, Sewa 24, Brondial 13, Rios 6, Monteclaro 4, Abrigo 2, Ochea 2, Cabigas 2, Agustin 2, Iñigo 0, Cabrera 0, Petilos 0, Bernabe 0, Trollano 0
BENILDE 63: Romero 21, Saavedra 9, Taha 9, Sinco 7, Ongtengco 4, Jonson 4, Garcia 4, Carlos 2, Deles 2, Grey 1
Quarter scores: 21-17, 38-31, 58-53, 80-63