UP puts a stop to struggles, piles onto woes of winless UST

UP puts a stop to struggles, piles onto woes of winless UST
ENCORE.

The University of the Philippines is starting the second round of the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament in the very same way it did the first round.

No heroics were needed this time around on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum, but it was still Paul Desiderio, along with running mate Jun Manzo, who showed the way as the Fighting Maroons tamed University of Sto. Tomas anew, 71-69.

Desiderio was on-point from the get-go and scattered 10 points while Manzo showed no ill effects of the leg injury he suffered just three days earlier by tallying 11 markers of his own.

Janjan Jaboneta was also a pleasant surprise with 12 points.

With those three at the head of the attack, State U has now barged back into the win column following a dispiriting three-game slide.

The Cebuano connection definitely wasn’t alone, however, as they were joined by three other teammates in the 13-2 second quarter run that erased a two-point deficit and erected a 31-22 advantage.

They would never look back from there all the way to a 4-4 standing – now at solo fifth just ahead of idle 3-4 National University.

In the first round meeting between the two teams, a Desiderio triple in the dying seconds lifted UP to a season-opening win.

It was the Tigers’ turn to mount some sort of rally in this one, but they could only come as close as 69-70 with 11 ticks to go courtesy of a cold-blooded triple from Marvin Lee.

Manzo was right there to hammer down the final nail on their coffin, however, by splitting from the stripe.

UST still had nine seconds for a game-tying or game-winning basket and Lee launched a would-have-been devastating missile only to see it go in and out.

As such, they remain winless through eight games. Once again, Marvin Lee led them in the losing effort with 17 points.

BOX SCORES

UP 71 - Jaboneta 12, Manzo 11, Desiderio 10, Ju. Gomez de Liano 9, Ouattara 9, Lin 6, Vito 6, Ja. Gomez de Liano 4, Romero 2, Prado 2, Ricafort 0, Lao 0, Dario 0.

UST 69 - Lee 17, Soriano 14, Sta. Ana 13, Akomo 7, Basibas 5, Macasaet 5, Romero 4, Huang 2, Faundo 2, De Guzman 0, Caunan 0, Kwawukumey 0, Garcia 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 15-17, 40-32, 61-55, 71-69.

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