UP Men’s Basketball Team (MBT) secured a hard-fought victory against the DLSU Green Archers in a close ball game brawl, 67-64, last night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The Maroons clinched its sixth straight win in the UAAP Season 86, making it the only unbeaten team so far.
The highlight of the ball game was the Maroons’ comeback from a 47-38 Archers lead at the end of the first half. The Maroons shut down Archer's momentum to a 21-3 offensive run in the third frame.
Maintaining control of the ball game, the Maroons had an 11-point lead in the midway of the last frame. But the Archers fought back, ensuring a bucket in response to an offensively cold Maroons with an 11-0 run tying the score 63-63 with only 2 minutes left in the ball game.
The Archers were in hopes of a miracle run in the last minutes of the 4th quarter, but Gerry Abadiano pulled a mid-range shot, 65-63, with a minute left in the game clock. Michael Philips had a chance to tie the ball game but only made a single freebie.
In the remaining seconds of the ball game, the Maroons flexed their gameplay tactics, shutting down the possible tie buzzer-beater of the Archers in their ball possession with a CJ Cansino steal to seal the UP victory.
Abadiano became a highlight reel for the Maroons, reflecting 13 points with a plus-minus of 6 in the stat sheets. Malick Diouf garnered a double-double, with 10 markers and 18 rebounds, while Harold Alarcon also contributed 10 markers to seal the comeback story of the Maroons.
The Archers however put on a fight with its two big men Michael Philips and Kevin Quiambao contributed 15 and 14 points, respectively.
With the Maroons clinching its sixth victory, the close game brawl against the Archers left the Maroons in shock after a challenging ball game.
“For the team, every game whether aiming kami nang malaki or close, we always take that as a learning experience especially yung team aming is a mix of seniors and young guys,” said UP MBT head coach Goldwin Monteverde.
The UP Women’s Basketball Team also made a statement yesterday, prevailing over the DLSU Lady Archers, 65-61 at the Adamson University Gymnasium. The close brawl clinched the sixth undefeated win for the Lady Maroons. Both of UP’s basketball teams are now within a striking distance of sweeping the first round of the eliminations.
Rookie sensation Louna Ozar and Marian Domingo both led the way for the Lady Maroons with 14 markers each.
UP would face the reigning champions, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday evening to cap off the first round of the season eliminations ●
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