MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines showed its restraint by banking and expanding its fiery start, blocking the University of the East’s late wave, 81-66, at the Mall of Asia Arena for its third consecutive victory in the UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday.
Javier Lucero continued to spell the difference for the Fighting Maroons as he led his team with 14 points, including a lay-up in the third quarter for a 3:46 Mark 65-35 lead and collected six rebounds, an assist and a block.
Ricky Rivero also scored 14 from three triples, like three steels and rebounds, while CJ Casino gave up 10 points, all coming from the first half, where they led 31-13.
UP center owner Malik Dufo also helped UP to a 3-1 lead in the singles third record for three consecutive wins with seven points, six blocks, six rebounds and three assists.
“It simply came to our notice then. As a team we continue to improve. We have to be consistent in our efforts in every game, ”said UP coach Goldwin Montverde.
Kyle Paranada and Clint Eskamis conspired for 17-2, threatening to return to the UE after taking a nine-point lead in the last four minutes, 73-62.
Diouf, however, kept the Maroons afloat, scoring his team’s last six points and blocking Paranadar’s shot with 38 seconds left in the game.
UE is unbeaten in four matches. Eskamis led the team with 16 points, six steels and two assists. Paranada scored his three triples in the fourth and finished with 13 points, with Harvey Pagsanjan adding 12 markers.
UP 81 – Lucero 14, Rivero 14, Cansino 10, Tamayo 8, Diouf 7, Spencer 7, Calimag 6, Cagulangan 4, Abadiano 2, Webb 2, Eusebio 2, Lina 2, Catapusan 2, Fortea 1, Alarcon 0.
UE 66 – Escamis 16, K. Paranada 13, Pagsanjan 12, Catacutan 5, Lorenzana 5, Pascual 5, Guevarra 4, Tulabut 2, Sawat 2, Beltran 1, P. Cruz 1, Abatayo 0, N. Paranada J, Cruz 0 , Antiporda 0.
Quarters: 31-14, 50-32, 71-45, 81-66.
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