Photo from UAAP


UP escapes NU, strengthens grip of second spot

by Niel Victor Masoy, October 23, 2019 1:28pm

University of the Philippines (UP) survived a tough challenge from National University (NU) to hack out an 80-77 win and solidify its hold of the second spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Bright Akhuetie led the Fighting Maroons with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Kobe Paras backstopped him by pouring in 19 markers, six assists, and four boards.

Jun Manzo also came through for UP as he cashed in 14 points, four caroms, and two assists.

“In the end, the important thing is we know how to get the win in the end,” said Fighting Maroons head coach Bo Perasol.

“I’m glad we get this eighth win,” the 47-year-old bench tactician added as UP improved to an 8-4  win-loss card.

The Fighting Maroons were  in control for the most part and was still ahead by seven points, 77-70, following a Paras’ trey off a crossover on Dave Ildenfonso at 3:02 mark of the fourth quarter.

However, the Bulldogs did not just down without barking and got within two points, 77-75, following a Dave Ildenfoso trey and a JV Gallego layup with 56 ticks remaining in the ball game.

Manzo stretched UP’s lead to four points, 79-75, by drilling a pair of free throws, but Shaun Ildefonso pulled NU within two points anew, 79-77, by drawing a foul on Akhuetie and burying his two freebies at the 11.5-second mark.

The Bulldogs then quickly fouled Manzo in the ensuing play, and the latter split his charities for just a three-point, 80-77, Fighting Maroons-lead with 10.7 seconds to go - leaving the door open for NU to tie the game.

Shaun Ildefonso, though, missed his triple as UP escaped with the victory.

Dave Ildefonso paced the Bulldogs once more with 24 points, six rebounds, six dimes, and three steals. Gallego provided support of 20 markers, five boards, and three steals, while Migz Oczon chipped in 12 points and four rebounds that went for naught.

The already-eliminated NU fell to a 2-10 slate which is dead last in the standings.

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