Photo from UAAP


Manzo, Paras lead way as UP frustrates Adamson to regain second spot

by Niel Victor Masoy, October 20, 2019 7:47pm

Jun Manzo and Kobe Paras led University of the Philippines’ (UP) fightback in the fourth quarter as the Fighting Maroons frustrated the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 81-77, to regain the second spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Manzo and Paras hit big baskets in UP’s 21-5 finishing kick, with the latter giving the lead to the Fighting Maroons for good by hitting a booming trey over Simon Camacho, 79-77, with 1:25 left in regulation.

After a defensive stop, reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Bright Akhuetie capped the Fighting Maroons’ back-breaking rally with a pair of free throws at the 1:08 mark which ultimately turned a 12-point, 60-72 deficit into a four-point lead.

UP then leaned on its defense from there as it kept Adamson at bay and improved to a 7-4 win-loss card.

Paras did a little bit of everything for UP with 21 points, five rebounds, three blocks, and two assists, while Manzo backstopped him by pouring in 17 markers, seven boards, and three assists.

Juan Gomez de Liano also played well as he notched a season-high 15 points, on top of four rebounds and two dimes. Nigerian center Akhuetie came through once more for the Fighting maroons as well, putting up 12 points, 11 caroms, and six assists.

Adamson was in control for the most part until it built its biggest lead of 12 points, 72-60, with 7:34 remaining in the ball game. Paras and Manzo, though, joined hands to lead UP’s fightback.

Manzo gave the Fighting Maroons a two-point, 76-74 advantage by scoring on a putback off his own miss with 2:23 left. Jerom Lastimosa, however, swung back the lead to Adamson by burying a three-ball at the 1:46 mark.

But that proved to be the last time the Soaring Falcons take the driver seat as Paras swung back the advantage to UP for good by hitting a trey with 1:25 to go.

Val Chauca paced the Soaring Falcons with 19 points, five assists, and two caroms, while Jerrick Ahanmisi backstopped him with 13 markers and six caroms. Simon Camacho chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds that went for naught.

The Soaring Falcons fell to a 4-7 win-loss slate and are now in danger of missing out on the Final Four as they remain at the sixth spot of the standings.

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