MANILA, Philippines — As he has been doing late, Javier Lucero has lifted the University of the Philippines on his fat shoulder and carried the Maroons on Saturday.
Stretch down, however, he received much needed help.
Lucero clinched another all-around performance with the clutch triple when Carl Tamayo and Joel Kagulangan brought the clutch in the final minute when UP Far Eastern University, 83-76, at the UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball Tournament Mall of Asia Arena.
The Maroons’ sixth consecutive win UP UP’s winning streak at the end of the first round হয়নি did not last nearly two decades ঠ pushing them to a 6-1 record, the second-best team after unbeaten league leader Atenio.
FEU dropped to 3-4.
Lucero delivered a clutch triple that gave UP a 76-70 lead in the last two minutes – a huge breath in the tight game all night.
This helped the Maroons to a big three-pointer from Jairus Torres and a split from LJ Gonzalez, who counted 76-74, 1:24 for the game.
But Tamayo responded with a basket of second chances and, after Emman Ozula’s uncontested return to the Maroons, Kagulangan reduced two more points to 80-74 with 45 seconds left.
Ricky Rivero, who is struggling late, has completed a three-point game to seal the win.
Lucero finished leading the Maroons with 27 points, 12 rebounds and three steals as the high-motor UP made three of his four attempts from outside the Big Arc. Tamayo, a member of the Gilas Pilipinas Cadet Pool, added 12 points and four rebounds.
Led by FEU, Gonzalez finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Ozuola added 17 points and 13 rebounds.
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