UAAP: Desiderio scorches the nets as UP scores against FEU

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 24, 2018 06:34 PM
UAAP: Desiderio scorches the nets as UP scores against FEU
Paul Desiderio finally shook off his struggles to lead UP to a much-needed win against fellow playoff hopeful FEU

Paul Desiderio has not been making his presence felt for the University of the Philippines in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

That was until Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum as Desiderio exploded for a career-high 31 points and the Fighting Maroons exacted revenge on Far Eastern University, 95-82.

Averaging just 11.9 points with a 20.4 mark from threes heading into the game, the team captain caught fire right from tip-off with 18 points built on 6-of-6 shooting in triples in the first eight minutes.

Behind him, State U dropped 37 points in the opening period and never relinquished the lead. “I have to make sure to commend Paul in his very start. It gave us the confidence that we can do it,” head coach Bo Perasol said in his post-game.

The Tamaraws last threatened at 56-62 at the midway mark of the third quarter only to see Desiderio and Juan Gomez de Liano turn them back.

Alongside their skipper, Juan GDL also stuffed the stat sheet for the second straight game and came oh so close to another triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.

Bright Ahkuetie flirted with a triple-double of his own with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists to help his team improve to 5-5.

UP is now tied with the Tamaraws it has just downed for fourth in the standings. “This is a big win for us not only as far as the standings are concerned, but also as far as fighting and holding off the runs of FEU,” coach Bo said.

For FEU, Brandrey Bienes and Barkley Ebona topped the scoring column with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Unable to overcome the absences of Prince Orizu and Arvin Tolentino, however, and lost for the third time in a row.

BOX SCORES

UP 95 – Desiderio 31, Akhuetie 20, Gomez de Liaño Ju. 19, Manzo 11, Dario 6, Gomez de Liaño Ja. 4, Jaboneta 2, Gozum 2, Vito 0, Murrell 0, Lim 0, Prado 0.

FEU 82 – Bienes 14, Eboña 13, Comboy 12, Cani 11, Iñigo 10, Escoto 10, Ramirez 5, Stockton 3, Parker 2, Tuffin 2.

QUARTER SCORES: 37-30, 54-43, 78-65, 95-82

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