Adamson's strategy was simple: let Greg Slaughter score and stop everyone else. In the end, the Blue Eagles were the ones doing the shutting down, forcing the Falcons into 14 misses in the last seven minutes, turning a 51-44 deficit into a 55-51 win. Slaughter tallied 23 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks, but the story was the 0-point, 0/1 performance by Kiefer Ravena, as Ateneo had a hard time keeping him on the floor, as Alex Nuyles and Janus Lozada posted him up whenever he was on the floor. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- At 13-0, the three-time defending champions need just one more win to sweep the elimination round, setting up the ladder format and giving them a thrice-to-beat advantage in the Finals. Should they fall, things become a bit more difficult as the UAAP retains the traditional Final Four format, but the Eagles long ago clinched the top seed, meaning they will get twice to beat versus the fourth seed should it come to that.
- The suddenly slumping Adamson Falcons fell to 9-4, after suffering a horrific second-half collapse versus UST. Combined with their loss to FEU earlier in the second round, the Falcons find themselves in a must-win position to maintain their twice-to-beat edge. Worst case scenario is they lose, and either Adamson or UST win, or even both, putting them in a situation where they'll have to play an extra game to settle who gets twice-to-beat.
ADMU Player to Watch : Emman Monfort has been the player that has sent the Falcons packing in the last two seasons, doing it usually from the foul line where he's Mr. Clutch, but he also put up a particularly spectacular shooting night last season in the Final Four, where he poured in 22 points on 7 of 9 shooting. If the Adamson defense loads up on Ravena again, Monfort's likely to make them pay for it.
ADU Player to Watch : In the second round, Lester Alvarez has been shooting just 27.08 percent from the field, 28.2 percent from downtown. It's gotten so bad that Falcons head coach Leo Austria has had to start Jerick Canada in his place, in essence, converting Alvarez to a scorer off the bench. Alvarez had his worst shooting game of the season, 2 of 17 versus Ateneo, and if he's like that again in round two, it's unlikely the Falcons will pull off the upset.
Prediction: ADMU Blue Eagles