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UP Maroons stand tall against UE to end losing streak


UP finally asserted themselves in this game.

The Fighting Maroons outlasted UE Red Warriors in clutch time, 78-75, in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday October 12.

The Diliman-based squad improves their bid at 6-3, just enough space to hold on to the second spot.

UP quickly exploded in the opening frame with a huge 27-8 advantage, but UE composed themselves in the second period and ignited a 20-2 run, which tied the game at 41-all.

Third quarter proved to be UP’s quarter when they led by as much as 17, 65-48, but UE responded with a crucial 18-4 run entering the closing period, capped off by Jem Cruz’s shooters bounce from the three-point area, 66-69.

Kobe Paras responded with a triple of his own with 2:20 left in the matchup, 72-66, and that was enough for the Fighting Maroons to make sure that UE will run out of answers.

“We were able to bounce back. In the perfect basketball world, we would have wanted a more convincing one, but we’ll take this of course because we’ve come from back-to-back losses,” said UP interim coach Ricky Dandan.

Bright Akhuetie led the Maroons’ scoring column with 18 points on top of his 14 rebounds, followed by Jun Manzo who had a season-high 17 points, five assists, and three boards.

Kobe Paras also did wonders for UP with 14 points and six boards, while Ricci Rivero (first double-digit output this Season 82) and Javi Gomez De Liaño were good with 10 markers apiece.

Despite the commendable efforts from Alex Diakhite and Rey Suerte, it wasn’t enough for these duo to save UE from a 3-7 fall.

Diakhite posted a double-double of 28 points and 20 rebounds, while Suerte wound up with 17 points, seven boards, and six assists.

The Scores

UP 78 – Akhuetie 18, Manzo 17, Paras 14, Ja. Gomez de Liano 10, Rivero 10, Ju. Gomez de Liano 4, Mantilla 3, Tungcab 2, Gob 0, Prado 0, Webb 0.

UE 75 – Diakhite 28, Suerte 17, Manalang 10, Cruz 7, Conner 6, Antiporda 3, Pagsanjan 2, Tolentino 2, Abanto 0, Apacible 0, Mendoza 0.

Quarters: 27-10, 46-41, 65-50, 78-75.