UAAP: Adamson wants to play spoiler to La Salle's Final 4 hopes

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2022 07:28 PM | Updated as of Nov 28 2022 07:48 PM

The Adamson Soaring Falcons head coach Nash Racela during their match against the National University Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on October 15, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
The Adamson Soaring Falcons head coach Nash Racela during their match against the National University Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on October 15, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- With just one spot in the Final 4 available, Adamson University head coach Nash Racela wants his Soaring Falcons to counter expectations by securing their place ahead of De La Salle University. 

Adamson has the inside track to the last semifinals berth in UAAP Season 85, thanks to their thrilling 64-63 victory over National University (NU) last Sunday, which gave them a 7-6 win-loss record heading into the final day of the elimination round.

La Salle, for its part, blew a chance to tie Adamson at fourth place when they fell to the University of the East (UE) in overtime, 80-72, also on Sunday. They head into their last elims assignment with a 6-7 slate.

"Actually, a lot of people are counting as out already," Racela noted, "Because they want La Salle to make it to the Final 4."

"I don't know, maybe they're anticipating Ateneo No. 1 and La Salle No. 4 for the semis. I know how people think," he theorized. "We want to counter that. That's actually our goal."

"Expectation and reality are always different, so yeah, we'll try our best. We'll try our best."

La Salle will play the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in its last elimination round game on Wednesday, and the Green Archers must win this game just to stay in the running for a Final 4 spot.

Adamson, meanwhile, takes on Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday. A victory by the Soaring Falcons will give them an 8-6 slate and clinch for them the fourth seed in the semifinals. 

Should both Ateneo and La Salle win, however, Adamson and La Salle will be tied with identical 7-7 slates, and they will play in a knockout game to determine the fourth seed. In that scenario, Ateneo will also secure the No. 1 spot in the Final 4 while defending champion University of the Philippines drops to No. 2.

The NU Bulldogs are already locked into the third seed with their 9-5 win-loss slate.

Racela and the Soaring Falcons will bring a three-game winning streak into their match-up against Ateneo, and he hopes that they can pull off the upset against the Blue Eagles who are already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final 4. 

Ateneo won their first round encounter, 76-55.

"We'll give our best, just like every game. We just hope that our best is really our best, 'no, hindi fake. Sometimes kasi they look like they're giving their best but they commit a lot of mistakes," Racela said of his team.

"So hopefully, when we play November 30, yeah, we really bring our absolute best," he added.

Adamson last made the semifinals in 2018, when they were the second seed in Season 81 but fell victim to UP in the Final 4.

UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.

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