UAAP 82: UP fights back from 12 points down to frustrate Adamson anew

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 20, 2019 06:48 PM
UP fights back from 12 points down to frustrate Adamson anew
(Photo by Josh Albelda)

ANTIPOLO - The time and place were different, but the result was very much the same as the University of the Philippines and Adamson University waged war once more in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Battling back from a 12-point deficit in the last seven minutes, the Fighting Maroons stormed back to steal a thrilling 81-77 triumph over the Soaring Falcons, Sunday at Ynares Center here.

Kobe Paras, Jun Manzo, and Bright Akhuetie all stepped up to the plate when it mattered most and overturned a 60-72 deficit with 7:10 left courtesy of a 21-5 rally. "We wanted to honor him with a very good game kasi napakaganda ng pinakita niya. Not just his scoring, but his leadership inside," head coach Bo Perasol said post-game, referring to his court general who sparked their late charge.

Joem Sabandal's triple seemed to have boosted Adamson ahead once and for all, but State U had other plans and amped up the pressure on defense.

All those defensive stops led to all those clean looks which then led to the backbreaking run that re-asserted their recent mastery over Adamson.

In the end, Paras pounded in five of his 21 points in the final frame to go along with five rebounds, three blocks, and two assists while Manzo poured in seven of his 17 markers in the same timeframe on top of seven boards and three dimes.

Akhuetie also posted a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double together with six assists while Juan Gomez de Liano contributed 15 markers, four boards, and two dimes of his own.

In all, the Fighting Maroons imposed their will on their opponents, 24-11, in the decisive period.

This furious fightback was the very same weapon they used in their first round meeting with the Soaring Falcons where they turned a seven-point disadvantage with 2:22 remaining into an 83-82 overtime win.

More importantly, though, this furious fightback puts State U back on track now at 7-4 - still solo second in the heated playoff race. "The most important aspect of this is that although this is a big win for us, we still need to focus on the next because if not, this will be all for naught," coach Bo said, talking about their remaining assignments against National University, De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila University.

On the other hand, Adamson is in danger of missing the Final Four for the first time in the Franz Pumaren era. At 4-7, they are now in virtual must-win situation.

Val Chauca topped the scoring column with 19 points, but only two came in the second half.

BOX SCORES

UP 81 - Paras 21, Manzo 17, Ju. Gomez de Liano 15, Akhuetie 12, Rivero 7, Ja. Gomez de Liano 5, Tungcab 3, Webb 1, Mantilla 0, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.

ADAMSON 77 - Chauca 19, Ahanmisi 13, Camacho 11, Lastimosa 9, Manlapaz 5, Douanga 4, Magbuhos 4, Fermin 3, Mojica 3, Sabandal 3, Yerro 3.

QUARTER SCORES: 11-19, 36-37, 57-66, 81-77.

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