ZAVIER LUCERO PACES UP TO CLINCH FIFTH CONSECUTIVE WIN AGAINST LA SALLE
Zavier Lucero led the Fighting Maroons to their fifth consecutive win after shutting down the Green Archers, 61-59, on Thursday in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.
In a tit-for-tat match, the Fighting Maroons’ tenacity ensured that their game against the DLSU will favor the maroon squad as Lucero fired 21 points, 13 rebounds, and two steals.
Despite Ricci Rivero failing all of his six shots, and finishing the game scoreless, UP did not give up as Carl Tamayo contributed nine points and 11 boards, while CJ Cansino had nine points on 2-of-5 shooting from deep, to go with his eight rebounds and one steal.
With less than 8 minutes remaining in the last quarter, the Maroons rallied from a 52-45 deficit as Lucero scored his 11 points with 6:18 minutes left, and fired another two points with 1:43 left.
Both teams tried to clutch the game, but the Diliman and Taft breed took simultaneous missed shots and key errors until Michael Phillips of the green-and-white could no longer force an overtime with his shot in the last 3.8 seconds.
This gave UP a 5-1 record and moved to second place, while La Salle dropped to 4-2.
Justine Baltazar paced La Salle with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists, while Evan Nelle also got 13 points, three steals, two boards, and two dimes.
Both UP Fighting Maroons and the DLSU Green Archers will end their first round of UAAP season 84 on April 9 as the latter will face Adamson at 1 pm while the former will face FEU at 7 pm.
UP 61 – Lucero 21, Tamayo 9, Cansino 9, Spencer 7, Diouf 7, Cagulangan 5, Fortea 3, Rivero 0, Alarcon 0, Abadiano 0.
DLSU 59 – Baltazar 13, Nelle 13, M. Phillips 9, Nonoy 9, Winston 7, Lojera 3, Galman 3, Nwankwo 2, Austria 0, B. Phillips 0, Cuajao 0.
Quarters: 17-17, 32-35, 43-48, 61-59.