MANILA, Philippines -- Adamson University veteran Jerrick Ahanmisi endured a difficult campaign in UAAP Season 82, as he never quite recaptured the form that earned him Mythical Team honors last year.
Apart from a 28-point explosion against University of the East in the first round, Ahanmisi has played like a shadow of himself, lacking the shooting touch that made him one of the most feared three-point shooters in the collegiate level.
Entering their game against Far Eastern University (FEU) on Wednesday, Ahanmisi was shooting just 31.46% from deep -- a full 10 percentage points below his average in Season 81.
His performance against the Tamaraws did nothing to raise his stock. Ahanmisi scored just 10 points, going a woeful 3-of-19 from the field. He missed all seven of his attempts from long range, and FEU secured a 63-60 win to oust the Falcons from the Final 4 race.
"The season went alright," Ahanmisi said after the game, which saw him add 5 rebounds and an assist to his stat line.
"It didn't go as planned, but we still got two games left, and we just gotta finish the season strong," he added.
Coach Franz Pumaren could only shrug when asked about Ahanmisi's woes in Season 82. Much had been expected from the veteran guard, especially with Adamson fielding in a young line-up, but Ahanmisi struggled to deliver.
"That's basketball eh," said Pumaren. "Sometimes you have the rhythm, sometimes you don't have the rhythm."
"You have to understand, there are several reasons probably behind that. But, probably, he's struggling because he's assuming the responsibility already as a leader," the coach added.
Ahanmisi refused to make an excuse for his subpar season, however.
"I don't really think I had any pressure on me," said the fourth-year guard.
"It's just that I didn't perform as well as I supposed to," Ahanmisi added. "It cost us, as you guys saw, in the losses that we had."
Their defeat to FEU dropped Adamson's record to 4-8. This is the first time since Pumaren took over as head coach that they are set to miss the Final 4.
While they still have two games left in their elimination round schedule -- against University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University -- Ahanmisi already knows how he can make up for his poor outings this year.
"I'm playing my final year," he said. "However the outcome goes, I'm just gonna give it my all next year."
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