The Adamson Baby Falcons
UAAP
Sweet revenge for Mike Fermin's Adamson Baby Falcons
Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - February 14, 2020 - 1:10pm

MANILA, Philippines – Four seasons ago, the Adamson Baby Falcons looked like they were going to annex their first UAAP juniors title since the 1980s when Allen Patrimonio was playing. 

It was the time when they had players like Encho Serrano, Gerry Abadiano and Forthsky Padrigao to name but a few. When that team was knocked out due to an eligibility problem with Serrano, they went from top of the heap to the bottom. By the next year, head coach Goldwyn Monteverde decamped to National University, Padrigao went to Ateneo, and Serrano took the PEP test before moving to La Salle for college.

Coach Mike Fermin took over Monteverde’s job, and just as he did with the seniors team when Kenneth Duremdes left the Falcons, he pulled the team back together. It hasn’t been an easy process, but his team is in the Final Four.

I think Fermin did a creditable job with the Adamson seniors team especially on short notice. They battled opponents (despite losing Matt Aquino to NU) and lost some matches via controversial fashion (read: NU). Then when Franz Pumaren took over, that team was gutted with many of their players removed and transferring to other schools.

The next we heard of Fermin was he was considered by Letran as a possible replacement for Aldin Ayo when the latter left for La Salle. The job, of course, went to Jeff Napa.

Now, Fermin is showing that he is a coach to be reckoned with especially with such an unheralded squad that lost players like Adam and Andrey Doria, the bullstrong AP Manlapaz, as well as playmaker Joem Sabandal to the seniors squad. Considering who the Baby Falcons lost, they kept on trucking with players like John Erolon, John Figueroa, Ruzzell Dominguez, Nicole Quinal and Jeremy Guarino. 

Adamson knocked off Ateneo, 84-75, in the step-ladder format and will next face the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws, who finished the elimination round with a 12-2 record.

In some ways, it was sweet revenge for Fermin, whose teams have had contentious battles with Blue Eaglets teams in the past. Sure, Ateneo has lost players like Kai Sotto and Mason Amos for various reasons, but that is part of the game. 

If Fermin’s team can continue to wax hot from both inside and outside while keeping the score close, they just might have a chance of taking down another higher seed.

They are ranked sixth on offense yet are third on team defense. NU and UST are ranked higher on defense and yet, the Tiger Cubs are already out. 

At one point during their match against the Blue Eaglets, Adamson was down 15-2. When Ateneans Forthsky Padrigao and Francis Lopez went to the bench with foul trouble, the Baby Falcons made their move. By the end of the third period, Ateneo’s lead was down to one 58-57.

The fourth period was theirs as they scored 27 points and held Ateneo to 31% shooting from the field. Ateneo shot themselves in the foot by continuing to gun from the outside going 0-10. 

During that match, FEU coach Allan Albano was taking notes. No doubt, their match up against Adamson is going to another tightly fought one since they both have veteran teams as well as the height and the bench to do battle.

ADAMSON UAAP
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