By June Ray Navarres
University of the Philippines dominated University of Santo Tomas, 86-61 to secure a playoff for twice-to-beat advantage in UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament earlier at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Chicco Briones stood out for the guys in white and maroon with 14 points and four rebounds in just 14 minutes of playing time.
“I appreciate [Coach Goldwin Monteverde’s trust] so much. It was an opportunity to give my best and I had to take that, give my best, and put my heart out on the court. The trust is always there,” exclaimed Briones.
UP’s 73-point bench scoring uplifted the Fighting Maroons to an 11-2 solo lead of the tournament ranking.
Cyril Gonzales chipped in 10 points for UP while Mark Belmonte and CJ Cansino added nine points each. Rookie Francis Lopez on the other hand produced a close to double-double of eight points and nine rebounds alongside with four assists, two steals, and a block.
“After this game, we’re just focused on what we can still improve going towards our next game. Alam naman namin ‘yong importance no’ng next game na darating sa amin but we just have to be consistent. ‘Yon naman nagiging problem ever since,” said UP head coach Monteverde.
Nic Cabañero, Christian Manaytay, and Migs Pangilinan’s double-digit outputs were not enough to spoil UP’s dominance throughout the game.
Featured photo courtesy of UAAP
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