ANTIPOLO — The University of the Philippines escaped with their third straight victory, out-poising the University of the East late to take the 62-56 win Saturday in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Ynares Center.
A raging Red Warriors squad cut a 13-point third quarter lead down to just a solitary point, 57-56, with 1:54 left. The Fighting Maroons then made smart plays to close out the win. Kobe Paras set up Jaydee Tungcab’s big left corner trey, before the second-generation star split his charities to bring the lead back up to five, 61-56, with 1:09 to play.
“We had lots of lapses, but in the end it was Jaydee that saved us with his three-point shot in the corner,” said coach Bo Perasol, emphasizing Tungcab’s impact over his four points and two rebounds. “His game-long brilliance of defending Rey Suerte helped us a lot.”
Paras continued to impress with his 12 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists. He supported Bright Akhuetie, who tallied 16 points, five boards, three assists, and three steals.
Javi Gomez de Liano also registered 15 points and three boards to help UP improve to a 4-1 card.
Relentless until the end, UE tried to complete the fightback. Unfortunately, Rey Suerte, Alex Diakhite, and Jed Mendoza all missed their treys in the final minute.
Suerte — the league’s leading scorer prior to this game at 22.8 points per game — was held to a horrid 2-of-15 shooting from the field, including 0-of-9 from threes. He finished with only four points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
Senegalese big man Alex Diakhite topscored for UE with 21 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists, as they fell to a 1-4 card.
UP look to keep their streak going against the DLSU Green Archers, while UE take on defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles. Both games are on Wednesday, September 25; UE go first at 12:30pm, before UP play at 4:00pm.
UP 62 — Akhuetie 16, Ja. Gomez de Liano 15, Paras 12, Rivero 7, Tungcab 4, Ju. Gomez de Liano 3, Manzo 3, Webb 2, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
UE 56 — Diakhite 21, Abanto 9, Tolentino 8, Antiporda 6, Pagsanjan 6, Suerte 4, Cruz 2, Manalang 0, Mendoza 0, Natividad 0.
Quarterscores: 23-15, 39-27, 46-42, 62-56.