Obviously, given the 0-14 season of UP, Adamson won both games last season, but the first round encounter was actually close, with both sides entering the fourth quarter tied at 44. However, the bench crew of Eric Camson and Jerick Canada simply overpowered Woody Co and Mike Silungan, allowing the Falcons to escape with a 66-59 win. Round two did not have the benefit of any such closeness, as the Falcons held UP to just 16 first half points, on route to a 74-51 blowout. Only Magi Sison's 20 points and 17 rebounds stood out as the other Maroons couldn't break the seven-point barrier. In the Fil-Oil tournament, the Maroons jumped out to a 15-7 first quarter, but couldn't maintain the lead as the Falcons reeled them in and overtook them late, 65-57, wasting Mike Silungan's 30 point effort.
Stat to Watch : Versus UST, UP was held to just eight fastbreak opportunities and seven fastbreak points, the first they were held to under double digits in both categories. Expect more of the same from Adamson who lead in fastbreak defense, holding teams to just 5.33 attempts and 6.67 points.
Player to Watch : What happened to the Mike Silungan of the summer when he shot 41 percent (29/70) from beyond the arc, 45 percent against UAAP teams (14/31)? He's had just one game so far with multiple three-pointers (DLSU, where he was 2 of 6) and is a disastrous 18.42 percent from long-range in the UAAP. And somehow, he's just as horrible from the foul line, making just 7 of 20 from the stripe. Perhaps a move to the bench is necessary to revitalize him?
Stat to Watch : The Falcons shrugged off their anomalous three-point performance versus NU (only game where they finished below 25 percent) to bury the Archers with a 9 of 20 showing from downtown. While they're currently the squad with the most three-point makes per game (6.17) and the highest percentage (30.58 percent), odds are good that UP will still try to test them with a few uses of a zone. If Adamson can't break it, they're in trouble.
Player to Watch : Lester Alvarez was huge against DLSU, helping to halt the successful streak of guys like LA Revilla and Jarelan Tampus on the defensive end, and then knocking in five of Adamson's nine triples for the game. Mike Gamboa has been inconsistent defensively, shutting down RR Garcia while struggling against Jeric Fortuna, and Alvarez is more like the latter than the former, meaning we could see this Falcon put up big numbers again.
Prediction: Adamson Falcons