University of the Philippines leveraged its hot start to prevail over Far Eastern University, 73-59, in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Thursday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Fighting Maroons were able to improve to a 10-1 record. They also extend their winning streak to seven games.
“We just need to work on being consistent. That’s one part nung game namin na dapat namin bigyan ng pansin. We can’t play in spurts. We need to be consistent offensively and defensively,” said UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde.
The defending champions went on a hot streak early in the game. Court general JD Cagulangan sank a three to give UP a 16-1 cushion at the 4:55 mark of the first quarter.
State U then saw its lead extend to as much as 71-50, off a James Spencer three with 1:52 remaining in the contest.
“After a long break, at least we started well tong game na ‘to. We started strong. Especially sa defense namin nung first part, we really started strong din,” added Monteverde.
Spencer set the tone early, scoring 15 of his career-high 19 points in the first half. The Fil-Australian senior also fired four treys.
Fighting Maroons big man Malick Diouf had 11 points, 20 rebounds, and three assists. Carl Tamayo contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Meanwhile, Gerry Abadiano had nine points, six rebounds, and two assists for UP.
On the other hand, the Tamaraws fell to 4-7 on the back of two consecutive defeats. They dropped to a tie at sixth-seventh with University of the East.
Jorick Bautista was the bright spot for FEU with 12 points, while Cholo Anonuevo followed his lead with 10 points and four rebounds.
L-Jay Gonzales got nine points, five assists, five rebounds, and two steals for the Tamaraws. Patrick Tchuente produced nine points and nine rebounds.
Both teams will return to action on Sunday.
FEU takes on Ateneo de Manila University at 11:00 AM. On the other hand, State U goes up against De La Salle University at 6:30 PM.
UP (73) – Spencer 19, Diouf 11, Tamayo 10, Abadiano 9, Lucero 8, Cagulangan 6, Alarcon 6, Galinato 3, Ramos 1, Calimag 0, Torculas 0, Eusebio 0, Lina 0, Gonzales 0, Andrews 0.
FEU (59) – Bautista 12, Anonuevo 10, Gonzales 9, Tchuente 9, Sleat 7, Torres 7, Alforque 3, Sajonia 2, Tempra 0, Sandagon 0, Ona 0, Bagunu 0.
Quarterscores: 22-18, 43-32, 58-42, 73-59.