UP MOVES ONE WIN CLOSER TO HISTORIC UAAP TITLE WITH AN OT WIN AGAINST ATENEO
The University of the Philippines (UP) is now one win away from ending a 36-year drought title after defeating the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in overtime win during game one of the best of three series, 81-74, on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles were dominating until the fourth quarter with a 68-60 lead with 4:35 minutes left but the Fighting Maroons staged a remarkable rally to tie the game at 70-all on back-to-back triples from Zavier Lucero and James Spencer forcing an overtime.
UP then went on an unstoppable offensive run, scoring eight straight points on Zavier Lucero’s three, Ricci Rivero’s and-one, and Carl Tamayo’s layup for a 79-74 lead with 2:04 remaining.
Ateneo had one last chance to go closer, but Rivero knocked aside Ange Kouame’s post attempt in the last 40 seconds of overtime to secure the victory, 81-74.
Rivero led the Fighting Maroons with 19 points, four steals, two assists, and two blocks, Lucero had 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Spencer scored 13 points and four boards and
Malick Diouf also delivered 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Carl Tamayo added 10 points, nine rebounds, five steals, three assists, and two blocks for UP, which faces Ateneo in game two on Wednesday at 6:00 PM.
It was a shocking turnover from Ateneo as Kouame led the Blue Eagles with 18 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, four assists, and two steals, SJ Belangel and Raffy Verano both scored 17 points, while Dave Ildefonso had only six.
UP 81 – Rivero 19, Lucero 17, Spencer 13, Diouf 10, Tamayo 10, Cagulangan 4, Alarcon 4, Abadiano 4, Fortea 0, Ramos 0.
ATENEO 74 – Kouame 18, Belangel 17, Verano 17, Mamuyac 7, Ildefonso 6, Andrade 3, Chiu 2, Koon 2, Daves 2, Tio 0, Padrigao 0.
Quarters: 17-19, 32-31, 49-54, 70-70, 81-74.