By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Ilonggo floor general Gerry Abadiano sustained his consistent offensive efficiency for the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons after leading them in their bounce-back win over the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 65-60, last October 29, 2023, in the ongoing UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.
Abadiano led the Fighting Maroons in scoring and unleashed a season-high 22-point performance built from a 7/15 shooting from the field including three made treys.
With the victory, the Fighting Maroons just hiked its UAAP hoops record to 8-1 and are still the top team to beat heading into the final phase of the preliminaries.
It was Abadiano who sparked the cold-shooting Fighting Maroons at the end of the opening quarter, knocking down a graceful step-back perimeter jumper to equalize the ball game at 11-all.
After knocking down the crucial shot to help UP regain momentum after the first quarter, Abadiano went berserk and provided crucial answers in the following period.
With only seven seconds left in the second quarter and UP trailing by a point, 29-30, the Fighting Maroons ran a play to free up Abadiano and delivered right away after burying the three-pointer from the left corner that gave them back the lead, 32-30.
At the start of the crucial fourth, Abadiano was quick to hoist a looping trifecta that kissed the ring, giving the Fighting Maroons a comfortable 52-39 advantage.
However, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin made his in-game adjustments and helped his squad claw their way back into the ball game as they managed to tie the affair at 54-all with 5:48 remaining in the game.
Unfortunately, the Blue Eagles ran out of steam in the crucial final stretch and only scored six points in five minutes.
The Fighting Maroons then took advantage and scored timely baskets to secure the lead and the morale-boosting victory.
LeBron Lopez backstopped Abadiano with an all-around performance of 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and a block.