By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Adamson Baby Falcons are back at the top of the UAAP juniors’ basketball after ending its three-decade championship drought last February 11, 2024.
After 31 long years, the Baby Falcons are finally kings of the UAAP boys’ high school basketball division once again, saving their best for last after blasting the National University (NU) Bullpups during the do-or-die Game 3 finals game, 90-73, held at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
It was all Adamson from the get-go after their collapsing loss last Game 2 fueled them to one of their best starts in their UAAP playoffs campaign.
The Baby Falcons immediately established a double-digit lead in the first half, 32-17, boosted by their well-orchestrated offensive plays and their discipline on the defensive end.
Just when Adamson thought it would be a walk in the park when the second half kicks off, the Bullpups weathered the storm and countered back with their own offensive snowball to get back within four points, 49-45, in the third frame.
After a shaky start in Game 3, the Bullpups finally regained their touch from the three-point line while also feeding their foreign student athlete Collins Akowe from Nigeria down the paint.
However, the Baby Falcons sent in the early fatal blow after a momentum-changing offensive run ballooned their lead to 27 points, 86-59, with only three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
After that huge run by Adamson, the Bullpups never recovered in the fourth quarter and failed to trim their deficit to just a single digit.
Mark Esperanza of Adamson was named as the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) after scoring 13 big points during the crucial Game 3.
During the three-game grand finals series, Esperanza averaged 9.3 points, 3.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and two steals per game.