UP scores fourth win for first time in a decade

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 26, 2016 07:25 PM
UP scores fourth win for first time in a decade
ONE LAST RIDE. Paul Desiderio and UP want to give team captain Jett Manuel a fine farewell.

The University of the Philippines is out to make sure that all of team captain Jett Manuel’s last games in the UAAP will count.

The Fighting Maroons jolted life into their playoff chances after surviving desperate J-Jay Alejandro and National University, 71-66, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

With the hardfought win, State U has now improved upon their record from a season ago. Also, for the first time in a decade, they breached the four-win mark and now stand at 4-8.

“We’re happy that we exceeded the three games (from last year). That’s the goal we put before the season,” a bright and beaming coach Bo Perasol expressed.

It didn’t come easy though as already ahead by 14 inside the last four minutes, UP let their inexperience show. And so, from a score of 66-52, Alejandro towed the Bulldogs to within four points with 31 ticks on the clock.

NU could have even come closer, but Med Salim’s layup rolled around the ring before falling out. Seconds later, a split from the stripe by Javi Gomez de Liano sealed the deal for the Maroons.

“It wasn’t the way we would have wanted to end the game, but we can’t be choosers. We have to count our blessings,” Perasol said.

Manuel showed the way in scoring with 19 points, but it was his leadership that Perasol singled out. “Our young guys had good games – all thanks to Jett’s leadership, of course,” he said.

He then continued, “Ga-graduate na rin si Jett. At least, alam niyang sa hanggang sa huling pagkakataon, meron kaming chance.”

Following their team captain’s lead, Gelo Vito and Paul Desiderio combined for 26 points while youngster Gomez de Liano contributed 13 markers in only 13 minutes of action.

State U’s team effort was more than enough for them to recover from a slow start of 9-23.

Winning the second to fourth quarters, the Maroons barged into joint fifth-place with the Bulldogs. The two of them are breathing behind the necks of 5-5 and fourth-running Adamson.

On the other hand, NU suffered a sixth straight setback despite the best efforts of Alejandro who wound up with 23 points.

BOX SCORES

UP 71 – Manuel 19, Vito 15, Gomez de Liano 13, Desiderio 11, Moralde 6, Jaboneta 3, Dario 2, Webb 2, Prado 0, Lim 0, Asilum 0, Longa 0, Lao 0, Romero 0, Espanola 0, Harris 0

NU 66 – Alejandro 23, Salem 12, Diputado R 7, Pate 5, Morido 4, Gallego 4, Salim 3, Diputado C 3, Go 3, Aroga 2, Mosqueda 0, Abatayo 0

QUARTER SCORES: 12-21, 29-31, 45-41, 71-66

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