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Juan GDL hits timely three to rescue UP against La Salle

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Juan Gomez De Liaño was looking for his shots throughout Season 82, but he finally found it just when it mattered most for UP.

Gomez De Liaño timely triple helped the Fighting Maroons escape with a 72-71 victory against La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena, on Wednesday, September 25.

UP came back from a 13-point deficit which turned the duel into a heart-pounding one.

“My team is just like leading a chariot with wild stallions – one goes to the right, one goes to the left, one goes to the middle,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said.

“Come winning time, however, they get their acts together.”

La Salle still had a four-point advantage with two minutes remaining in the final period, when Kobe Paras was able to convert his two free shots right after he drew a foul, 69-71.

Jamie Malonzo had the chance to turn their lead into two possessions, only to bluff both of his freebies.

La Salle was trying to melt the clock by rotating the ball from the half court, but the Season 81 Mythical Five member just stole the ball from Aljun Melcio and buried a go-ahead triple with 7.8 ticks left that brought UP its fourth straight victory.

“The biggest shot came from Juan. Juan is a winner, always a winner,” Perasol quipped.

Kobe Paras was once again the team’s leading scorer with 21 points while Bright Akhuetie listed 17 markers, 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals.

UP improves at 5-1 while La Salle drops at 2-4.

Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut both finished with 16 points, while Justine Baltazar bulked up 13 points and nine rebounds.

The Scores

UP 72 – Paras 21, Akhuetie 17, Gomez de Liano Ju 10, Rivero 9, Manzo 5, Tungcab 5, Webb 3, Jaboneta 2, Gob 0, Gomez de Liano Ja 0, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.

LA SALLE 71 – Caracut 16, Melecio 16, Baltazar 13, Bartlett 8, Malonzo 7, Manuel 5, Serrano 4, Lojera 2, Bates 0, Cu 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 14-18, 29-36, 52-59, 72-71.