By NIKOLE JAVIER
Ateneo clobbered Adamson, 81-60, to make a return trip to the finals in UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night, Dec. 7.
Forthsky Padrigao led the assault for Ateneo with a 16-point performance apart from dishing off five assists while Chris Koon added 15 points.
Kai Ballungay and Dave Ildefonso chipped in 13 and 11, respectively.
Ateneo used another telling third quarter finish of 24-7 built on a 19-0 run that was too overwhelming for Adamson to confront.
As their pipeline to redemption moved forward, the Blue Eagles arrived at their semifinals encounter rejuvenated with no intentions to extend the series.
As if there was more to prove, Ateneo unwrapped its fourth period with a triple courtesy of Anton Quitevis off the bench to tally the biggest lead of the match of 30, 66-36.
From that point on, the Soaring Falcons couldn’t duplicate the same momentum that towed them to the Final Four.
“Credit to Adamson who played against La Salle with all the emotions and the expenditure of energy. And the turnaround and a team that’s been preparing for a week and that’s well rested and hasnt been thinking about anything other than who are they gonna face in the semis. I think the game really was the reflection of that we had our best offensive performance of the year,” said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.
Jerom Lastimosa was lone bright spot for Adamson with 10 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
The Soaring Falcons, who rejoined the Final Four after four years, will be out of the championship picture.
ATENEO 81 — Padrigao 16, Koon 15, Ballungay 13, Ildefonso 11, Kouame 9, Andrade 5, Gomez 3, Quitevis 3, Garcia 3, Daves 2, Lao 1, Lazaro 0, Chiu 0, Fetalvero 0, Fornilos 0, Ong 0.
ADAMSON 60 — Lastimosa 10, Hanapi 9, Manzano 8, Yerro 7, Douanga 6, Flowers 6, Torres 5, Sabandal 3, V. Magbuhos 3, Colonia 2, Manlapaz 1, Fuentebella 0, Jaymalin 0, Barasi 0, W. Magbuhos 0, Barcelona 0.
Quarters: 20-13, 39-29, 63-36, 81-60.