UP escapes NU’s late surge
Another cardiac game for both teams!
However, it was the UP Fighting Maroons that outlasted NU Bulldogs, 80-79, in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena, on Wednesday September 18.
The Jhocson-based squad had the upper hand in the opening canto, 23-18, but Javi Gomez De Liaño and Kobe Paras would ignite a 23-4 surge to end that became a 41-27 lead.
Of course NU didn’t back down without a fight, as Dave Ildefonso worked wonders in the clutch again by burying a triple with 11.3 seconds left in the game, 79-80.
However, the Bulldogs failed to capitalize on Dave Murrel’s missed free throws as the UP’s defense were suffocating enough to force John Lloyd Clemente to airball his game-winning attempt.
“We need to learn how to close out games as a team and that’s a process,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said.
Paras once again led the Fighting Maroons with 25 points and six rebounds. The older Gomez De Liaño listed 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, while Bright Akhuetie bulked up 19 markers and 12 boards.
With that win, UP now owns a 3-1 win-loss record.
The younger Ildefonso carried the Bulldogs with 25 points and five rebounds, while Issa Gaye and Shaun Ildefonso had a combined 26 markers and 20 boards.
However, the NU still couldn’t catch a break, as they now fall into a 0-4 hole this season.
UP 80 – Paras 25, Akhuetie 19, Ja. Gomez de Liano 17, Tungcab 6, Manzo 4, Rivero 4, Longa 3, Murrell 2, Ju. Gomez de Liano 0, Gozum 0, Jaboneta 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
NU 79 – D. Ildefonso 25, Gaye 13, S. Ildefonso 13, Gallego 9, Joson 8, Minerva 7, Clemente 2, Mosqueda 2, Diputado 0, Galinato 0, Malonzo 0, Oczon 0, Tibayan 0, Yu 0.
Quarter Scores: 18-23, 44-36, 67-59, 80-79.