The Bleachers


University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons made the almost impossible by rejecting the Ateneo Blue Eagles' winning run, 84-83, on the last day of the UAAP men’s basketball eliminations at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, May 1.

/ 2 May 2022

The mighty Maroons spoiled the undefeated 4-year record of Ateneo as Malick Diouf drilled two free throws while James Spencer followed a three from the top of the key to put the Fighting Maroons ahead, 82-81, with 43.6 ticks left in the fourth quarter.

Ricci Rivero then drained two free throws in the final 22 seconds to get the 84-83 lead, and Ateneo tried to win the game as SJ Belangel made a 3-point attempt in the last 1.6 seconds, but failed to do so.

Diouf paced the Fighting Maroons with 18 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block, while Carl Tamayo also dropped 16 points, and James Spencer chipped in 16 points as the team improved to a 12-2 win-loss card.

Ateneo still gave a hard-fought battle as Ateneo rallied 18 points in the second quarter and seized control of the game in the third quarter off a Belangel’s layup, 53-52 with 7:26 left.

But even with Belangel’s successful mid-range step-back shot, and Ateneo’s  81-77 lead with 4:19 left in regulation in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to keep their record unstained.

UP will take on No. 3 La Salle (9-5) at 2 pm, while Ateneo will try to reclaim their pride as they clash with the fourth-ranked FEU (7-7) at 6 pm.

The Scores:

UP 84 – Diouf 18, Tamayo 16, Spencer 12, Cansino 11, Lucero 9, Rivero 8, Cagulangan 7, Fortea 3, Alarcaon 0, Webb 0, Lina, 0.

Ateneo 83 – Kouame 21, Ildefonso 18, Belangel 11, Andrade 10, Verano 7, Tio 6, Koon 5, Lazaro 2, Mendoza 2, Chiu 1, Mamuyac 0

Quarters: 27-13, 50-44, 70-67, 84-83.