UP MARCHES TO THE FINAL FOUR AFTER PASSING THROUGH THE GRITTY LA SALLE
UP Fighting Maroons secured a ticket to the final four of UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament after defeating La Salle Green Archers, 72-69, on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Fighting Maroons were eager to bounce back from their loss against Adamson as the former dominated the Green Archers with a massive 16-point lead, 42-26, in the second frame.
La Salle encroached back to cut the gap as Schonny Winston scored the next eight points built from two crucial jumpers and four from the free-throw line with 5:07 left, 64-59, still in favor of the Fighting Maroons.
UP and La Salle answered back with eagerness to win as the former made a 7-0 run, 71-59, while the latter followed and capped back a 10-0 run with Michael Phillips, 71-69.
Still, it was all in vain as Ricci Rivero, who logged 11 points, eight boards, and three steals, secured the victory for the Fighting Maroons with his free throw with 8.6 ticks left.
Carl Tamayo led UP with his career-best 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Malick Diouf scored 15 points and 18 rebounds, and Zavier Lucero had nine points and eight boards.
Justine Baltazar paced La Salle with 16 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks, while Winston got 16 points and four rebounds, and Kurt Lojera delivered 13 points, four rebounds, and four steals.
The UP who climbed to a 9-2 slate will battle the winless UE on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. while the Green Archers who recorded a 7-4 slate will face the FEU Tamaraws earlier at the 10 a.m. game
UP 72 – Tamayo 23, Diouf 15, Rivero 11, Lucero 9, Fortea 8, Cagulangan 4, Spencer 2, Abadiano 0, Cansino 0, Alarcon 0, Lina 0.
LA SALLE 69 – Baltazar 16, Winston 16, Lojera 13, M. Phillips 8, Nelle 7, Nonoy 7, B. Phillips 2, Manuel 0, Escandor 0, Nwankwo 0, Cuajao 0.
Quarters: 18-17, 42-31, 56-49, 72-69.