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Akhuetie’s game-winning bucket allows UP to force do-or-die match vs Adamson

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The UP squad are not done making history yet.

The Fighting Maroons outlasted Adamson Falcons’ late scare, 73-71, to force a rubber match in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Final Four round at the Mall of Asia Arena, on Saturday, November 24.

Adamson came back from a double-digit deficit in the final period through a 13-2 surge, even grabbing the lead via Jerrick Ahanmisi’s pull-up jumper, 63-62.

Tied at 71-all with 3.7 ticks on the clock, UP’s Juan Gomez De Liaño found an open Bright Akhuetie, as he calmly sank a reverse lay-up with 2.6 left to grab the victory.

“Winning against Adamson is not easy. We have a lot of things to adjust to when we get back,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol. “My guys just made the plays when it mattered.

Not only did the Fighting Maroons scored a playoff victory since 1997, but they also have a chance to upset the twice-to-beat Soaring Falcons on November 29, Wednesday.

Paul Desiderio and Gomez De Liaño both led UP with 19 apiece.

The Season 81 MVP only had six points, but he collected 14 rebounds and two blocks in the matchup.

For the Adamson, they are now 0-8 in their whole Final Four series.

Papi Sarr paced Adamson with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Sean Manganti had 15 points and five rebounds.