By Jean Malanum

TOP SCORER. Adamson University’s Vince Reyes goes for a layup during the game against the University of the East in the UAAP Season 86 high school boys basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre on Wednesday (Jan. 10, 2024). Reyes led the Baby Falcons with team-high 18 points to demolish winless UP, 78-54. (UAAP photo)

MANILA – Adamson University clobbered the University of the East, 78-54, in the UAAP Season 86 high school boys basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan on Wednesday.

Vince Reyes finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while Mark Esperanza chipped in 17 points as the Baby Falcons bounced back from last Sunday’s 64-67 defeat to the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs to improve its record to 8-1.

“That’s a wake-up call. For us, being on top, there’s a prize for that. Other teams target you. To be able to be consistent, let’s not be complacent. It’s not okay. There should be a sense of urgency every time we play,” coach Mike Fermin said.

“We must have a goal that we want to achieve. Of course, the ultimate goal is to win the championship. But the immediate goal is entering the Final Four. The task at hand is winning every game,” he added.

Earlier, UST pulled off a 78-66 victory over De La Salle-Zobel. Andrei Dungo sizzled with 26 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and six steals as the Tiger Cubs rolled to their third straight win.

“Sinasabi lang ng coach namin na gawin lang ang tamang depensa para yung opensa namin susunod para hindi kami mahirapan sa opensa namin (Our coach just tells us to do the right defense so that our offense will follow so that we don’t struggle with our offense),” Dungo said.

Wacky Ludovice scored 14 points while JB Lim also had 14 points to go with six rebounds, five steals, and four assists for UST.

Waki Espinas led the Junior Archers with 17 points while Kiefer Alas contributed 12 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists.

In other games, National University Nazareth School nipped Ateneo, 62-61, while Far Eastern University-Diliman downed UP Integrated School, 87-61.

Nigerian center Collins Akowe delivered 19 points and 22 rebounds, while Mac Alfanta added 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Bullpups, who are in second place at 7-2 followed by the Tiger Cubs at 6-3.

Stephen Cabigting scored 12 points, Veejay Pre and Omar Gordon had 11 points apiece while Jedric Daa made 10 points, six assists, and five rebounds for FEU, which is in fourth place with a 5-4 slate.

Ateneo and UE have identical 4-5 cards, De La Salle-Zobel sport a 2-7 record, while UPIS is winless in nine outings. (PNA)