UAAP

UP fights off National U for first win run in UAAP 82

By Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 18, 2019 06:10 PM

(Photo by Arvin Lim)

The University of the Philippines took time to get going, Wednesday at MOA Arena, but once it did, it blitzed its way past still winless National University, 80-79.

Kobe Paras had a second straight 20-point outing with 25 points on top of six rebounds in this one, but all of the Fighting Maroons were also on-point in their back-to-back wins following a 1-1 start to the season.

Issa Gaye actually got the Bulldogs off to a blazing beginning and they led, 23-18, after the opening salvo.

Come the second quarter, though, Paras was joined by Javi Gomez de Liano in a 23-4 tear that sped their side way ahead, 41-27.

Still, Dave Ildefonso and National U were threatening at 79-80 with 11.3 ticks to go and even got a golden opportunity to complete a comeback as David Murrell muffed on two free throws. "We need to learn how to close out games as a team and that's a process," head coach Bo Perasol said post-game.

Ildefonso, however, found himself locked down by Murrell and Kobe Paras and gave the ball up to John Lloyd Clemente who was forced into a long two that was well-defended by Jaydee Tungcab.

Not long after, UP was celebrating its first winning streak in the tournament. "I think we are smart enough or wise enough to close out games now. The fact of that is I know we can," coach Bo said.

Flanking Paras were Bright Akhuetie and Javi GDL as the former finished with a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double and the latter ended with 17 markers of his own built on a 5-of-7 shooting clip from deep.

At the same time, the decision was the fourth heartbreak in a row for the Bulldogs - after being at the wrong side of game-winners by Adamson University and then De La Salle University and then an overtime loss to University of Sto. Tomas.

Ildefonso topped the scoring column for them in this one with 25 points to go along with five rebounds while Gaye wound up with 13 markers and 13 boards of his own.

BOX SCORES

UP 80 - Paras 25, Akhuetie 19, Ja. Gomez de Liano 17, Tungcab 6, Manzo 4, Rivero 4, Longa 3, Murrell 2, Ju. Gomez de Liano 0, Gozum 0, Jaboneta 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.

NU 79 - D. Ildefonso 25, Gaye 13, S. Ildefonso 13, Gallego 9, Joson 8, Minerva 7, Clemente 2, Mosqueda 2, Diputado 0, Galinato 0, Malonzo 0, Oczon 0, Tibayan 0, Yu 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 18-23, 44-36, 67-59, 80-79.

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