The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons leaned on its end-game composure to upend the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 77-70, and took its second consecutive victory, Sunday afternoon.
The gutsy win put UP to 2-0 in Group B in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup, while the Blazers suffered their fourth straight defeat and went down to 1-4. But even with the 2-0 start, it’s still far from what UP head coach Bo Perasol is envisioning for his team.
“I can’t say that I’m really happy with the win that we had. I think we could have done better in trying to adjust with what Benilde was doing against us, especially the pressure defense,” Perasol said.
Fourth year swingman Paul Desiderio top-billed the Diliman-based squad with 22 points off 50 percent shooting, to go along with 10 rebounds and two assists. Rob Ricafort played well in both the four and five positions, ending with 12 markers, three rebounds, and one each of assist and steal.
The Maroons had a strong start and led up to 33-15 in the second quarter, before the Blazers mounted a 16-0 run to reduce the deficit to three, 34-37, by halftime.
“You have to give credit to the coaching staff of Benilde. I think that they really have improved in handling offenses. They were able to make adjustments in what we did. They were able to be successful in stopping Paul Desiderio,” the second-year UP mentor furthered.
Saint Benilde continued to deny UP with its pressure defense and eventually tied the game at 39. Breaking the press, the Maroons kept themselves above waters with timely transition baskets from Desiderio and Juan Gomez De Liaño.
Both teams were saddled with foul trouble, but none bigger than UP center Ibrahim Ouattara fouling out with still six minutes left. Opposing big men Clement Leutcheu and Edward Dixon took advantage of the situation and cut the deficit to four, 64-68.
From there, UP stepped on the pedals until Javi Gomez De Liaño put away the win for good at 77-70, 15 seconds left.
“I’m happy that we got the win but we really have to improve more in trying to get an identity in our defense. Kulang na kulang kami sa depensa,” Perasol lamented.
The Fighting Maroons will look to extend their winning run as they face the 0-2 Emilio Aguinaldo College on Wednesday, May 24 at 1:30 pm.
Leutcheu registered 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Rene Sta. Maria added 16 markers and three rebounds.
The Blazers will attempt to stop its slide when they take on the same team on Friday, May 24 at 11:15 pm.
UP (77) – Desiderio 22, Ricafort 12, Prado 8, Quattara 7, Manzo 5, Gomez De Liaño JG 5, Dario 5, Lim 5, Webb 4, Gomez De Liaño JJ 2, Romero 2, Lao 0.
CSB (70) – Leutcheu 18, Sta. Maria 16, Dixon 12, Domingo 8, Naboa 5, Young 5, San Juan 2, Castor 0, Bunyi 0, Mercado 0, Suarez 0.
Quarterscores: 28-14, 37-34, 60-53, 77-70
Mikee Cojuangco shares showbiz paid for her equestrian goals
Deanna Wong not closing doors on Ateneo return
Baser Amer understands Evan Nelle’s decision to transfer to La Salle
Chot Reyes on son Josh: ‘The things that happened to me, naapektuhan din siya’
Ateneo commit Yana Bautista, 17, passes away due to COVID-19
At 15, Kielvj stopped school for ML — and has mom’s full support
PVL to stick with ABS-CBN even after non-renewal of franchise
KarlTzy clutch as BREN Esports hailed as MLBB SEA champions
UAAP fetes gen champs, athlete-scholars, honors MVPs, second sem athletes
Chooks-to-Go donates 5,000 pcs of dressed chicken to CESAFI
Barangay Ginebra reunite in SMC HQ, pack PPEs for frontliners
Makati survives Ablaza injury, San Juan to force MPBL North Game Three
- ADMU4 days ago
6-6 Fil-Am Zavier Lucero receives interest from four UAAP schools
- Football5 days ago
PFF, PFL to sanction Global-Makati as team fails to settle unpaid wages
- Mixed Martial Arts3 days ago
As ONE rolls out live events, Team Lakay remains ready
- 2023 FIBA World Cup3 days ago
Chot Reyes on ideal naturalized player: ‘We need a tall guy who can also play outside’