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Paras fires 37 as UP fights its way to title in Taiwan tourney

By Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 21, 2019 05:02 PM

Photo courtesy of UP Men’s Basketball Team (Keith Magcaling)

The University of the Philippines has reclaimed the throne the country last sat on back in 2017.

Kobe Paras caught fire for 37 points, Jun Manzo came through in the endgame, and the Fighting Maroons came out on top of Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology, 97-93, Sunday in Taiwan for the championship in the 2019 Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Cup.

Paras turned in his best game just when it mattered most for Philippine State U, with 15 of his output coming in the final frame.

With under four minutes remaining, Manzo also stepped up to the plate, with his triple and midrange jumpers bookending an 11-3 run that increased a slim three-point margin, 83-80, to a nine-point lead, 94-83.

The Taiwanese yet again pulled within three, 91-94, with 38 ticks to go only to see Paras and rookie guard Jaybie Mantilla keep them at bay once and for all.

This is the second time since in three years that the BLIA Cup trophy will be coming home to the Philippines. The first was when Ben Mbala-led De La Salle University dominated the tournament.

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