UP SECURES TWICE-TO-BEAT ADVANTAGE AFTER TROUNCING UE
The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons have clinched a final four spot and a twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP Season 84 after an 81-68 win over the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday.
The Fighting Maroons blasted and did not give a chance to the Red Warriors as Zavier Lucero drilled seven of his 12 shots for 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Ricci Rivero scored 17 points, and Malick Diouf pulled down 15 rebounds.
With the first half of the game, UE ate dust from UP as the latter went on a 20-6 rampage to build the 28-12 lead and further widen the gap to 19, 51-32, but the former tried to rally back and cut the gap to five at the end of the third frame, 59-44.
The Red Warriors tried to recover as the team sparked nine points midway through the fourth quarter.
Still, the Katipunan side was still in control of the game as Lucero sparked a 19-7 to get back the 20 lead, 81-61 with 1:50 ticks left following an unsportsmanlike foul called on Jeremy Cruz of UE.
CJ Cansino and Carl Tamayo also helped to secure the twice-to-beat bid and did not let UE recover as the former had eight points, six rebounds, and five assists, and the latter scored seven points, eight boards, and five dimes.
The Red Warriors sunken to 0-12 as Jojo Antiporda paced the team with 15 points, while Nikko Paranada got 13 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in the loss, and Clint Escamis contributed11 boards, and eight dimes.
UP, which has a 10-2 record, will want to extend its winning streak on Thursday, April 28, as they face UST Growling Tigers at 7 p.m, while UE battles the NU Bulldogs at 10 a.m. on the same day.
UP 81 – Lucero 20, Rivero 17, Cansino 8, Tamayo 7, Eusebio 7, Diouf 6, Abadiano 6, Cagulangan 4, Fortea 4, Spencer 2, Calimag 0, Alarcon 0.
UE 68 – Antiporda 15, N. Paranada 13, Escamis 9, K. Paranada 8, Beltran 7, Sawat 4, Pagsanjan 4, J. Cruz 3, Villanueva 3, Lorenzana 2, Abatayo 0, Tulabut 0, Guevarra 0, Pascual 0, P. Cruz 0.
Quarters: 18-8, 44-26, 59-44, 81-68.