UP survives Adamson in OT

Reigning champion University of the Philippines overcame a giant scare from Adamson University to eke out a thrilling 87-78 overtime victory in Season 85 University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Philsports Arena.

Zavier Lucero and Malick Diouf were hot in the first four quarters while Terrence Fortea delivered in overtime to help the Fighting Maroons avert the upset ax from a game Soaring Falcons squad.

In the first game, University of the East snapped its 15-game drought when it booked a 76-66 win over Far Eastern University.

Sophomore Kyle Paranada delivered an impressive performance, firing nine of his career-high 25 points in the fourth period to lift the Red Warriors to their first win since prevailing over National University on 30 October 2019.

It was also the Red Warriors’ first win over the Tamaraws since their 90-65 victory on 30 September 2018.

Lucero fired 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Diouf had a monster game of 13 markers, 12 boards, four assists, four blocks and three steals for the Fighting Maroons, who flirted with disaster in regulation before banking on Fortea’s gutsy performance in overtime to pull off the victory.

Fortea, a former member of Gilas Youth squad, guided UP to an 8-0 start in the extra period to erect an 82-74 lead before Diouf punctuated the rally with a dunk in the final 2:28 mark.

Then, Harold Alarcon drained a three-pointer in the final 30 seconds to give Maroons their biggest lead at 11, 87-76, to seal the heart-stopping victory and claim their second straight win.

Fighting Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde said they were successful in shutting down Adamson top gunner Jerom Lastimosa in overtime.

“You have to focus on Lastimosa defensively. They usually go to him at endgame. We just reminded the team to execute our offense,” said Monteverde, whose wards crawled back from a 16-point deficit at halftime to drop a 21-2 bomb in the third quarter.

“We saw that towards the second half that we can play well. If we could do it from start until the end of the game, that will be the goal.”

Actually, UP was poised to take the win as it was enjoying a three-point lead in regulation, 74-71.

But James Spencer committed a foul on Joem Sabandal with less than a second left on the clock that led to three free throws that forced the overtime.

“Catch up man or not, what’s important is what we can get from it,” added Monteverde, who opted to sit his star player, Carl Tamayo, in the crucial stretch.

“As the season progresses, I think we’ll still improve as a team. The important thing is that we put premium on adjustments.”

Lastimosa delivered a career-high 25 points on top of six rebounds and six assists but was quiet in the decisive juncture.

Lenda Douanga fired 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for the Falcons, who remain winless in two games.


The scores:

First game

UE (76) — K. Paranada 25, Tulabut 9, Villegas 8, N. Paranada 8, Pagsanjan 7, Sawat 6, Payawal 5, Stevens 4, Alcantara 2, Antiporda 2, Beltran 0, Remogat 0.

FEU (66) — Sleat 15, Anonuevo 10, Torres 8, Alforque 6, Bautista 6, Gonzales 5, Tempra 5, Tchuente 4, Gravera 3, Sandangon 2, Songcuya 2, Ona 0, Guibao 0.

QUARTERS: 18-19, 38-36, 63-44, 76-66.


Second game

UP (87) — Lucero 15, Diouf 3, Fortea 12, Tamayo 11, Alarcon 9, Gonzales 9, Spencer 8, Ramos 3, Galinato 3, Torculas 2, Calimag 2, Abadiano 0.

ADAMSON (78) — Lastimosa 25, Douanga 11, V. Magbuhos 10, Sabandal 10, Hanapi 8, Yerro 4, Jaymalin 3, Manzano 2, Barasi 2, W. Magbuhos 2, Flowers 1, Colonia 0, Torres 0, Barcelona 0.

QUARTERS: 19-17, 31-47, 58-62, 74-74, 87-78.

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