MANILA, Philippines – Adamson head coach Kenneth Duremdes jokingly wished that there would be a third round of games in the UAAP men's basketball tournament after seeing how his Soaring Falcons improved from the first round to the second.
The Falcons have yet to win a single game in Season 77, but have shown progress and on Sunday put a scare into defending champion De La Salle University in the first half before fading away in the second.
"We're still knocking and we're still looking for that upset," Duremdes said after the Falcons' 66-57 loss to the Green Archers. "I keep on reminding the guys that it will not be given to us easily. You have to work hard, you have to put more effort in the game."
But Duremdes was pleased with his players' effort against a powerhouse team. Adamson was able to cut the lead to as low as three points in the third quarter before La Salle imposed its will and pulled away.
Still, the nine-point loss was a far better result for Adamson than their first round game against La Salle, which saw the champions win 67-48.
"Sabi namin kanina ng mga coaches, ang biruan namin: 'Pare, kung may third round pa sana. Kaso hanggang second round lang eh,'" Duremdes said with a laugh.
"But then again, in the second round, they're responding," he said of his players. "They've adjusted already to the men's basketball, which is really hard for them physically and mentally because these guys are coming from high school."
Adamson has one of the youngest line-ups in the league, with 11 rookies in the team and only players like Jansen Rios, Don Trollano and Ryan Monteclaro playing heavy minutes in the previous season.
Trollano, who scored 26 points against La Salle, agreed with his coach that their team has shown remarkable improvement in the season.
"Kahit naman talo kami, maganda na 'yung nilalaro namin compared doon sa first round," he pointed out. "Talagang tambak kami noong first round. Ngayon, medyo dikit."
Trollano also remains hopeful that the Falcons can nab one win before the season ends.
"Ako kailangan ko talaga ng panalo kasi last year ko na, so gusto ko kahit maka-isa man lang," he said.
Adamson's remaining games of the season are against Far Eastern University, Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines.