UAAP: UP flexes muscle in 29-point beatdown of UE
UP played up to its potential - in its very first game, at the very least.
The University of the Philippines wasted no time in sending a statement that it is a legitimate contender in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The core four of Juan Gomez de Liano, Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Paul Desiderio all did their part as the Maroons took the fight to University of the East to come away with a convincing 87-58 victory on opening day Saturday at the MOA Arena.
State U took a while to get going and were having trouble with the new-look Red Warriors with the tally tied 33-all at the half. “There’s nothing out there that we haven’t prepared for,” head coach Bo Perasol told reporters post-game, talking about their halftime adjustments.
Come the third quarter, though, Juan GDL and Desiderio finally found their range in an 11-4 run for a 44-37 lead.
Akhuetie and Manzo only followed suit and fronted another 23-10 run that mounted a 67-47 advantage in their favor inside the last eight minutes.
That double-digit lead would be more than enough for a confidence-boosting win for UP to start the season.
In the end, Juan GDL collected 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists and Akhuetie posted a 15-point, 18-rebound double-double in his UAAP debut.
Desiderio had his own 12 points and 10 rebounds while Manzo and Javi GDL scored 13 and 10 markers, respectively.
That total team effort is a much-welcome sight ahead of the Fighting Maroons’ matchup opposite Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday. “This is just the start. I’m happy to get this win and we can capitalize on the momentum we got,” coach Bo said.
Alvin Pasaol paced UE with 14 points, only three points coming in the second half, however. Unable to keep up with their opponents throughout, they suffered a setback to open their campaign.
UP 87 – Gomez de Liano Ju 16, Akhuetie 15, Manzo 13, Desiderio 12, Gomez de Liano Ja 10, Vito 7, Murrell 6, Lim 2, Tungcab 2, Prado 2, Gozum 2, Dario 0, Spencer 0, Jaboneta 0, Espanola 0, Longa 0
UE 58 – Pasaol 14, Antiporda 9, Beltran 8, Manalang 6, Varilla 6, Bartolome 4, Maloles 4, Cullar 3, Conner 2, Acuno 2, Gallardo 0, Lacap 0
QUARTER SCORES: 18-13, 33-33, 58-45, 87-58
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