21 September 2019
By Maxine Louise Lagman
ANTIPOLO – Last season’s runner-up, University of the Philippines keeps their Finals hopes alive as they kept their winning streak in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament after defeating University of the East, 62-56, Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
With the win, the Fighting Maroons improved to a 4-1 win-loss record, claiming solo second behind rival Ateneo De Manila University, while the Red Warriors dropped to 1-4 slate.
UP started off with a big 12-3 run early in the first quarter and kept a comfortable 12-point cushion, 39-27, at the half, but UE kept coming back and not giving up.
UE, who shocked La Salle with a fourth quarter comeback thanks to Rey Suerte, also rallied for a late run against UP and cut the deficit to one, 57-56, less than two minutes left in the game.
Jaydee Tungcab stepped up for UP with a triple that gave them a four-point lead, 61-56. They kept their defenses strong in the last seconds to stop UE from making any other baskets.
Bright Akhuetie led UP with 16 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block, while Javi Gomez de Liaño had 15 markers. Kobe Paras added a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double record, too in the win.
For UE, Suerte, who finished with a stunning 31-point outing that led them to victory against La Salle, was limited to only four points on 2-of-15 shooting.
Senegalese Alex Diakhite instead paced the Red Warriors with a double-double record of 21 points and 17 rebounds, to go with five assists.
UP 62 – Akhuetie 16, Ja. Gomez de Liano 15, Paras 12, Rivero 7, Tungcab 4, Ju. Gomez de Liano 3, Manzo 3, Webb 2, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
UE 56 – Diakhite 21, Abanto 9, Tolentino 8, Antiporda 6, Pagsanjan 6, Suerte 4, Cruz 2, Manalang 0, Mendoza 0, Natividad 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 23-15, 39-27, 46-42, 62-56
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