Preview: This time, Falcons want to get it right

Overall record last season: 10-6, 3rd place, lost to Far Eastern University in the Final Four

Head Coach: Leo Austria

Assistant Coaches: Jerry Ruiz, Ronald Perada, Jose Sedeño, Joel Yap

Line-up:

DEAN, James Justin
NUYLES, Alex
MONTECLARO, Ryan
JULKIPLI, Ar-Raouf
CRUZ, Jericho
CABRERA, Roider
RIOS, Jansen
PETILOS, Harry
CAMSON, Eric
CELEDONIO, Trollano
CABIGAS, Eric
BRONDIAL, Rodney
AGUSTIN, Michael
ETRONE, Allen
ABRIGO, Gian


Adamson emerged as the “Cinderella” team last season and the Falcons are setting their sights on soaring to greater heights anew.

Key Losses

The Falcons have been hit hard by the graduation of key players. Four players who played significantly in the team’s remarkable run last year will not be around. The loss of guards Lester Alvarez (9.6 points and 3.1 assists) and Jerick Canada (4.1 points and 2.5 assists) left the Falcons cramming for a quick successor at the playmaking spot. Forwards Jan Colina and Janus Lozada, who combined for 11.6 markers and 7.4 boards a game, also bid goodbye, causing more woes for Austria’s rotation. Also gone were Kenyan center Austin Manyara and Genesis Manuel.

Key Additions

Guards Jericho Cruz, a transferee from Rizal Technological University, and James Justin Deans lead the new faces in the San Marcelino-based squad this year. The two rookies should address the main concern in setting up the table for the Falcons. Also seeing action for the first time are Ar-Raouf Julkipli, Eric Cabigas, Gian Abrigo, and Celedonio Trollano.

Holdovers

Alex Nuyles, fresh from a breakout season, is back to lead the Adamson’s campaign anew along with forwards Eric Camson, Rodney Brondial, Roider Cabrera, Allen Etrone, Harry Petillos, Jeff Olalia, Ryan Monteclaro, Michael Agustin and Janses Rios. More is expected from Camson, notably in the offensive end, this time. 6-foot-5 Brondial is now the main anchor defensively while Monteclaro, a third-string guard last season, should now take the starting guard role.

Season Outlook, Strength and Weaknesses

The Falcons will have their hands full this time in their bid to return to the semis. The emergence of a reliable point guard remains the team’s biggest concern heading into the season. A sluggish start is expected from the Flacons though they may give some contenders a string of surprise. Adamson will bank heavily on Nuyles’ exploits anew while notable improvements are expected from Camson and Brondial.

Prognosis

Thanks to his high-leaping ability and size uncommon among the 2-guards, Nuyles will continue to be the one of the league’s potent scorers especially in transition. But the Falcons, collectively, will have a difficult time solving the expected full-court defense from their rivals. Expect the other teams to pounce on the Falcons’ relatively small backcourt. Unless Camson, Cabrera and Brondial come up big, a Final Four seat is doubly demanding for the Falcons this season.

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