PCCL Semi-Finals: Archers Fall to Adamson

A day after eliminating heavily favored San Beda, the Green Archers ran out of gas in the homestretch and fell to the Adamson Falcons, 59-67 yesterday at the San Juan FilOil Arena. The loss relegated the Archers to a battle for 3rd place against the University of Cebu Webmasters, which lost to Ateneo in the first game.

Like in previous games in the PCCL, the Archers started strong in the first quarter, allowing Adamson only a 2-all tie before racing to a 18-8 lead at the end of the first quarter behind the hot shooting of Sam (2 triples), and baskets by Yutien, Maui, Simon, Oda, and Nico. Oda took advantage of a rare starting slot to up the pace of the game, scoring on the break and assisting on Sam’s first triple. Papot, Yutien, and Maui combined to make the paint a difficult place for the Falcons to soar, blocking or altering at least 3 shots in the first quarter.

Adamson started to regain their bearings in the second quarter, capitalizing on several Archer turnovers to score on the return plays. Seven unanswered points in the first minute of the quarter saw the Falcons threaten at 18-15. Oda replied with a twisting shot, but two straight 3point plays by Manyara and Nuyles saw the Falcons take the lead for the first time at 20-21 at the 5:15 mark, followed by a Colina basket as Adamson threatened to pull away. A Nico basket toghther with 3 consecutive fts by Yutien and Martin allowed the Archers to regain the lead, 25-23, but Adamson scored on a triple by Cabrera and baskets by Camson and Alvarez, which were countered by a free throw by Maui and fgs from Papot and Oda to allow a tie at halftime.

The halftime stats showed parity in the 2point field goal, both teams hitting 50%, the Archer starters ourscoring their Adamson counterparts 16-8, but the La Salle bench being outperformed by Adamson’s bench, 14-22.

The 3rd quarter saw the Archers off to another fast start, trading the lead until 36-35, before reeling off 5 straight points to threaten a breakaway at 40-35. The Falcons responded with a 6-0 run to regain the lead, before Sam sank a corner trey and Simon canned 2 fts to give La Salle its final lead, 45-41. Adamson closed the quarter with another 8-0 blast to take the lead for good at 45-49.

Sam opened the fourth quarter with a fastbreak on a Nico assist, but the Archers were held to a single free throw by Maui for over 5 minutes while Adamson reeled off 10 points on 5 Archer errors to take their biggest lead upto that point. Almond finally broke the silence with a perimeter jumper, followed by a Yutien undergoal stab on a Simon assist to narrow the gap to 7 at 52-59. The Archer lineup was further shortened when Simon hurt his hand while guarding Adamson forward Colina, who sank both fts, 52-61 against a single ft from the Archers. With time running out, the Archers resorted to shooting from long distance in an effort to catch up, but all attempts rimmed out until Sam nailed another 3 with time down to 40 seconds, 56-61. A last ditch fouling tactic failed, as Stinett sank both fts with 30 seconds left, 56-63. Sam closed out Archer scoring with a tough double clutch triple as Adamson closed out the game with free throws, 59-67.

So ended the Archers’ marvelous run through the PCCL. With a decimated lineup, the Archers simply did not have the legs in the second half to keep pace with Adamson, and this was evident in the ease with which Adamson penetrated the Archer perimeter and interior defense in the last 2 quarters. Unable to maintain their energy after the first, the Archers lost to an Adamson team that seemed to have solved the Archers’ game, at least for this year.

The Archers play UC for third place honors. UC has a dominant big man, which could be a preview of what the Archers might have to contend with in Ateneo’s Slaughter next season.

Whether the Archers win or lose against UC, this young team will have made its mark on the PCCL.

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