Akari-Adamson moved a win away from clinching an outright semifinals berth in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup with a 101-83 victory over Perpetual Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Falcons caught fire in the fourth quarter behind Egie Boy Mojica as they put the game beyond doubt with a 31-point finishing kick.
“We became aggressive. We we’re to lax early on,” remarked coach Franz Pumaren on that fourth period turnaround.
Mojica went 5-of-6 from downtown, three of those coming in the payoff period to finish with 15 points and three rebounds.
Also helping Akari-Adamson in the takeover was its overall shooting from beyond the arc at 10-of-20.
Papi Sarr led the Falcons with 16 markers and six boards, while Sean Manganti flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.
Jerrick Ahanmisi got 14 markers, four boards, and four dimes, while Jerom Lastimosa also had 14.
Akari-Adamson took a share of the lead in the standings at 8-3, tied with CEU, and has a chance to claim the top two spot with a win against JRU on April 5.
“We’ve been stressing to the players that each game is important for us. I don’t want to sound hypocrite that we don’t want the top two because we do want that scenario. But we acknowledge that it’s hard to play a team that is out of the playoffs in JRU,” said Pumaren.
Edgar Charcos paced Perpetual with 22 points, 10 assists, and two rebounds, while Prince Eze and Kim Aurin got 15 markers apiece.
The Altas remained in the playoff race for now, but at 3-6, their fate is no longer in their hands.
AKARI-ADAMSON 101 — Sarr 16, Mojica 15, Ahanmisi 14, Lastimosa 14, Manganti 14, Catapusan 8, Espeleta 7, Macion 6, Camacho 5, Bernardo 2, Lojera 0, Longalong 0, Zaldivar 0.
PERPETUAL 83 — Charcos 22, Aurin 15, Eze 15, Coronel 11, Tamayo 7, Mangalino 3, Precillas 3, Villanueva 3, Pasia 2, Peralta 2, Pido 0, Tiburcio 0.
Quarters: 22-20, 50-39, 70-67, 101-83.