December 01, 2023

Nash Racela gets blunt on Adamson’s 'walang script' win over UE, sets playoff date with Ateneo for last Final Four slot

Nash Racela gets blunt on Adamson’s

Have you regained your normal breathing now?

The Adamson Soaring Falcons survived a nerve-wracking game against the UE Red Warriors on Saturday, 63-61, to set up a do-or-die date with the Ateneo Blue Eagles to decide which team will complete the Final Four cast of UAAP Season 86.

The game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay game turned out to be an instant classic as UE wanted to spoil the party. Down by two, Red Warriors wing Jack Cruz-Dumont unleashed a cold-blooded three-ball that shushed the rowdy Adamson crowd to take the lead, 61-60, with only a little more than six seconds left in the game.

But Adamson’s spitfire guard Mathew Montebon, who scored a game-high 16 points, came up clutch and nailed the game-winning three-pointer, ultimately dropping the mic on the Red Warriors.

“When I got it, I didn’t know who was behind me. So I just did a step-back corner (three). I thought I missed because I just threw it up and fell down but luckily it went in,” said Montebon in a media release.

Adamson’s victory was hard-earned, and coach Nash Racela couldn't help but express his admiration for both squads for the tremendous fight that they showed.

“I like how it ended. Walang script ‘dun. UE really made it tough for us. Some would say tsamba ('yung panalo). I won’t deny that, mukha namang tsamba talaga,” the veteran tactician said in the media release.

In a way, the thriller against UE encapsulated what Racela has been preaching to his wards all season long.

“From the very beginning, we emphasized to our players that there are no freebies in this world. You have to earn everything. You have to take it if you want it,” Racela explained.

“We thank UE for allowing us to do that. Talagang pinahirapan kami and they didn’t give it to us on a silver platter,” he added.

The Red Warriors still had a chance to steal the win or send it to overtime with 2.7 ticks remaining but they came up empty in their final possession.

The Soaring Falcons’ upcoming battle with the Blue Eagles will be especially interesting as recent issues surrounding the tournament’s officiating have put Racela and Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin in some sort of disagreement, with both sides throwing shade at each other. 

What better way to settle their differences than duking it out in a do-or-die affair on Wednesday?