Maroons shoot down Blue Eagles

This time, University of the Philippines didn’t have to turn to JD Cagulangan’s late-game heroics to ward off rival Ateneo de Manila University.

The Fighting Maroons displayed mental toughness before hanging tough down the stretch to pull off a thrilling 76-71 overtime victory over the Blue Eagles in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

Protecting a slim 73-71 lead, Carl Tamayo made a split in the foul line before Season 84 Finals Most Valuable Player Malick Diouf sealed the win with two charities while watching Bryson Balunggay muff his potential game-tying three-pointer to complete the Fighting Maroons’ rebound and gain a share of the top spot with National University with a 4-1 win-loss record.

Season 84 Game 3 hero Cagulangan saw action for the first time for UP but committed a crucial turnover on an errant pass late in regulation after Forthsky Padrigao tied the game at 64 off a three-pointer with 36.7 ticks in the fourth quarter.

Tamayo led UP with 20 points and 13 rebounds, James Spencer had 14 markers while Diouf and Zavier Lucero got 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Diliman-based squad.

Cagulangan, who entered the game four minutes left in the opening period, scored seven.

Dave Ildefonso scored 10 points including back-to-back treys in Ateneo’s 18-6 spurt in the second period to turn a 20-24 deficit into a 38-30 lead before Cagulangan hit a three-pointer to end the Fighting Maroons’ drought heading into the half.

Ildefonso had 22 points and 12 boards while Padrigao got 15 in a lost cause for Ateneo.

Ange Kouame had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Eagles, who fell to 3-2 together with University of the East and De La Salle University.

In the first game, emotions ran high as UE prevailed over the skidding University of Santo Tomas, 78-68, in a testy battle that got Tigers center Adama Faye ejected.

Faye threw an elbow on the side of the head of Red Warriors guard Harvey Pagsanjan in the last 2:01 of the third quarter with UE up, 51-44. The Senegalese student-athlete was whistled with a disqualifying foul, which warranted at least a one-game ban.

That chippy moment fueled the Red Warriors with Pagsanjan hitting a huge triple – his only field goal in the match – that gave UE a 66-59 separation with 3:27 left in the fourth.

“I guess Harvey woke up after that. He had a big basket in the corner when UST was making comeback,” Red Warriors coach Jack Santiago said.

Another trey by Luis Villegas in the last 1:28 gave UE a 73-60 lead to put the game away.

Villegas finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals while Nick Paranada and Federic Antiporda scored 17 and 13 markers, respectively, in the Red Warriors’ first win over the Tigresses since a 96-91 victory in Season 80 back on 7 October 2017.

Jalen Stevens got 11 point and Pagsanjan had five points and 11 boards for UE.

The Tigers absorbed their fourth straight defeat after a season-opening win.

Nic Cabanero had a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds while Ivan Lazarte got 12 markers for the Tigers.

The scores:

First game

UE (78) — Villegas 17, N. Paranada 17, Antiporda 13, Stevens 11, Pagsanjan 5, Payawal 5, K. Paranada 4, Sawat 4, Abatayo 2, Beltran 0, Remogat 0, Guevarra 0, Alcantara 0, Langit 0, Lingo-lingo 0.

UST (68) — Cabanero 19, Lazarte 12, Faye 11, Manalang 9, Pangilinan 8, Manaytay 5, Duremdes 2, Calimag 1, Mantua 1, Garing 0, Herrera 0.

Quarterscores: 10-13, 28-29, 55-49, 78-68.

Second game

UP (76) — Tamayo 20, Spencer 14, Diouf 12, Lucero 10, Cagulangan 7, Abadiano 6, Galinato 4, Fortea 3, Gonzales 0, Alarcon 0, Calimag 0.

Ateneo (71) — Ildefonso 22, Padrigao 15, Kouame 10, Andrade 9, Ballungay 8, Koon 5, Chiu 2, Lazaro 0, Gomez 0, Garcia 0, Quitevis 0.

Quarterscores: 18-14, 33-38, 53-54, 64-64, 76-71.

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