UP exacts revenge, hands Ateneo fifth elims defeat

By Jun Ray Navarres

After a heartbreaking loss in round one, University of the Philippines got even with the Ateneo de Manila University in a 65-60 win in the second round of the UAAP S86 Men’s Basketball, Sunday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Third-year guard Gerry Abadiano went stellar to secure the Fighting Maroons’ revenge against the Blue Eagles. Abadiano worked for 22 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one block in a plus-9 efficiency for UP.

“’Yong effort namin as a team nandiyan. Alam naman namin na sa first round natalo kami sa Ateneo at masakit para sa amin ‘yon,” said Abadiano.

“Pinag-usapan talaga namin kapag game na ito is ‘yong effort na talaga ibibigay namin…  Thankful kami nakuha namin ang panalo na ito.”

The loss of CJ Cansino and JD Cagulangan’s leadership immediately impacted UP, experiencing struggles to make a basket in the first half despite Ateneo’s turnovers. Cansino was out due to flu while Cagulangan suffered a hamstring injury.

After a roller coaster scoring, Abadiano, who was taking over for the Fighting Maroons, sank a three to give his school a 32-30 lead going into the second half.

UP then made a quick 8-3 run going into the third quarter. They managed to hold down Ateneo to just seven points while they broke away with 17 led by Terrence Fortea’s penetration and three-point basket, 49-37.

Jarred Brown, Kai Ballungay, and Joseph Obasa worked together for Ateneo to tie the game at 54 but Harold Alarcon stepped in for a three to stop Ateneo’s run, 57-54. Abadiano followed with an elbow jumper to bring the lead back up to 5, 59-54.

Jason Credo provided newfound fire to the Blue Eagles, igniting both ends of the court with an and-one and block, chipping the lead down to two, 59-57 with only 2:51 left in the game.

However, Francis Lopez and Alarcon combined a back-to-back basket for UP to bring the lead back up to six, 63-57. Ateneo’s clutch rookie Mason Amos drilled a three to inch closer to UP with 42.9 ticks remaining, but Obasa missed a screen-and-go from Brown.

Abadiano sealed the game for UP with his two free throws.

“Siguro it took a while din na makuha namin ‘yong rhythm offensively,” said Fighting Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde.

“We were a little bit in a hurry ‘nong first quarter lalo na. But maganda rito ‘yong defense namin it held up Ateneo and I felt ‘nong huli, we were more patient offensively.”

Lopez, Diouf, and Alarcon contributed 10 points a-piece for UP. Diouf added 17 rebounds and two blocks to his scoring output.

On the other hand, Brown led the Blue Eagles with 18 points followed by Obasa’s 11 points and 16 rebounds output. Unfortunately for Ateneo, Chris Koon went 0 out of 10 from the field.

UP now holds a solo first with 8-1 while Ateneo dropped to 4-5 tie with Adamson University.

Featured photo courtesy of UAAP

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