UP pounces on Cansino injury to put away UST in UAAP 81

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 10, 2018 06:33 PM
UP pounces on Cansino injury to put away UST in UAAP 81
Paul Desiderio and UP have more than a fighting chance at their first playoff berth in more than two decades

The University of the Philippines is now on its best campaign since 2004.

What’s more, Paul Desiderio and company have more than a fighting chance at making the Final Four for the first time in two decades.

Desiderio made it all happen, dropping 19 points to shoot the Fighting Maroons over University of Sto. Tomas, 83-69, on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The team captain also added eight rebounds and four assists, but definitely wasn’t alone with Bright Akhuetie and Juan Gomez de Liano right beside him in UP’s seventh win in 13 games. “Well, the best thing that this win has done for us is to place us in a position to fight for that (Final Four) slot,” a beaming head coach Bo Perasol said post-game.

It was that same total team effort that State U leaned on to go on a 22-9 run that turned a four-point lead late in the third quarter to a 76-59 advantage in the final frame.

The Growling Tigers would not be able to threaten the rest of the way.

In the end, Akhuetie posted another monster double-double of 25 points and 18 rebounds while Juan GDL still stuffed the stat sheet with 11 markers, six boards, and five assists.

Janjan Jaboneta also had much-welcome contributions with nine points, all but two coming in the fourth quarter, to go along with five rebounds and two steals.

Now at 7-6, this is UP’s best showing since their 7-7 season 14 years ago – and one game remains in their schedule. “We still need that one win on Wednesday. We cannot overthink on this because there is a much more crucial game on Wednesday,” coach Bo said, referring to their matchup with De La Salle University.

More importantly, they now stand at solo fourth all while ousting UST from contention as well as putting pressure on fifth-running Far Eastern University.

For the Growling Tigers, Marvin Lee and Renzo Subido were the lone bright spots with 26 and 22 points, respectively.

They tried their best to rally around the loss of super rookie CJ Cansino who came out of the contest in the middle of the second period with an apparent left knee injury. They fell short in doing so, however, and have now fallen out of the playoff picture at 5-8.

BOX SCORES

UP 83 – Akhuetie 25, Desiderio 19, Ju. Gomez de Liaño 11, Jaboneta 9, Murell 6, Manzo 5, Prado 3, Vito 3, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 2, Lim 0, Tungcab 0, Spencer 0, Española 0, Gozum 0, Longa 0.

UST 69 – Lee 26, Subido 22, Bataller 7, Mahinay 4, Marcos 3, Huang 2, Cansino 2, Caunan 2, Zamora 1, Agustin 0, Bonleon 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 19-22, 42-38, 63-54, 83-69

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