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4 points from Wednesday's UAAP hoop games

MANILA, Philippines — Two of the top four teams picked up big wins while two squads hoping to gain much-needed ground in the pursuit of the last playoff spot saw their dreams almost extinguished.

Here are four points to glean from those matches:

It was a good win for Adamson

The Soaring Falcons led for almost the entire game as they dictated the pace and repeatedly stymied the red-hot University of the East.

Despite Adamson wanting to go inside especially with Papi Sarr, there was a lack of recognition for their single biggest asset against UE, which is why at one point Sarr and head coach Franz Pumaren got mad at Jonathan Espeleta.

The latter’s not starting allowed on and off forward-center Simon Camacho to start, and he did well — scoring six points and grabbing three rebounds (although he did turn the ball over thrice which is something he has to consider).

Camacho’s eagerness to attack underscored Adamson’s directive to pound it inside. Incredibly, they only had a two-point advantage over UE in inside points, 36-34.

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It was in the points off turnovers and poor shooting that hurt UE.

The win allowed Adamson to take solo third at the moment and put a serious crimp on the Red Warriors’ playoff hopes.

A​lvin Pasaol is a delight to watch

The Red Warriors have always had these big-time scorers. There was Allan Caidic, Vernie Villarias, Bong Ravena, James Yap, Paul Lee and Roi Sumang that came before. Save for Ravena who did a lot of his damage of drives and dunks, all the others were outside bombers. Pasaol gets his points from long range and a lot of craftiness from medium range. He’s physical but not dirty (at least not this season as he has concentrated on balling and not breaking someone’s balls).

His scoring battle with Ben Mbala was fun to watch.

On another note, while Mark Olayon is steadily finding his groove (although rather late), it is not Philip Manalang who needs to get going but Clark Derige. For all their misery, Pasaol makes UE an entertaining watch.

There are signs about how good NU could be

When Eric Altamirano was in his first few years of coaching the Bulldogs, they took some fantastical losses to Ateneo then slowly began to play them tougher. Whether Jamike Jarin may have an axe to grind (as he was not selected to coach Ateneo after Norman Black — come on, he should have) and Enzo Joson is motivated for not even being considered despite his Ateneo ties (and winning a title with Mike Nieto and company in the Juniors division), NU is slowly getting it. That was some game plan and terrific defense that kept the game close until the fourth period when Ateneo carved them up.

For NU though, they will lose JJ Alejandro and Matt Salem so next year will be interesting. But that loss to Ateneo also damaged their Final Four hopes.

That was a good workout that Ateneo needed

It has been tougher this second round as teams are adjusting to Ateneo. Believe it or not, NU shot better than Ateneo — 39.7 percent to 38.0 percent.

But you have to like the Blue Eagles’ confidence and unwavering belief in themselves and their system. They kept firing from the outside when they should have been attacking NU. Only when they did (led by Gian Mamuyac) did they find their resolve. And that opened up the gunners for taking shots in rhythm.

Nine and oh. Doesn’t get any easier but this was a big win.

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