ATIN 'TO: UP fights onto UAAP 81 Finals after fending off Adamson

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 28, 2018 06:40 PM
UP fights onto UAAP 81 Finals after fending off Adamson
UP's prize for downing erstwhile twice-to-beat Adamson? A Finals date with defending champion Ateneo.

The University of the Philippines and Adamson University have been making history in the 81st Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Only one between them will continue doing so now in the Finals.

Juan Gomez de Liano was brilliant all game long, but it was Paul Desiderio who delivered the goods when it mattered most as the Fighting Maroons got the better of Adamson University, 89-87, in an overtime classic on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Juan GDL was a man on a mission from the get-go – the mission being bringing State U to its first Finals since 1986.

Scoring seven points right after he was sent in off the bench, he spearheaded his side’s 23-13 start to the knockout bout.

Of course, Adamson would battle back and behind a 25-4 third quarter run, made a game out of it.

Still, it was UP who had a three-point edge with 10.7 ticks to go in regulation until Jerom Lastimosa willed in a triple that tied the tally and sent the game to overtime.

There, the Soaring Falcons got the jump and got a six-point lead, 84-78, only to see all of Juan GDL, Deisiderio, Diego Dario, and Bright Akhuetie get together to put the Fighting Maroons on top, 87-85.

Lastimosa again came up clutch and converted a couple of charities to even the score, but right at the other end, Desiderio dropped a dagger right in the face of Sean Manganti.

That midrange shot would prove to be the difference in an overtime classic that saw six deadlocks and lead changes apiece.

In the end, Juan GDL poured in a career-high 30 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists while Desiderio pumped in 16 markers of his own on top of 11 boards, four steals, and two dimes.

Season MVP Akhuetie also posted a 13-point, 17-rebound double-double of his own to help the Maroons fight its way to back-to-back wins at the expense of erstwhile twice-to-beat Adamson

Those back-to-back wins have set up for them a date with defending champion Ateneo de Manila University in the best-of-three Finals slated for Saturday at the MOA Arena.

For the Soaring Falcons, Jerrick Ahanmisi topped the scoring column with 20 points while Lastimosa was nearly the hero with 17 markers, seven rebounds, and five assists.

They needed much, much more from team captain Manganti, though, as he only had six points in 1-of-7 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three assists.


UP 89 – Gomez de Liaño Ju. 30, Desiderio 16, Akhuetie 13, Gomez de Liaño Ja. 8, Tungcab 6, Prado 6, Dario 5, Manzo 4, Jaboneta 1, Lim 0, Vito 0.

Adamson 87 – Ahanmisi 20, Lastimosa 17, Sarr 16, Camacho 10, Pingoy 7, Manganti 6, Magbuhos V. 6, Espeleta 2, Mojica 2, Bernardo 1.

QUARTER SCORES: 26-16, 51-42, 64-67, 78-78, 89-87


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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