UAAP: UP Fighting Maroons buck slow start to overwhelm UST Tigers

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2022 09:37 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2022 10:12 PM

Photo from UAAP media bureau
Photo from UAAP media bureau

(UPDATED) The UP Fighting Maroons leaned on a fiery second half run to shrug off a poor start and defeat the UST Growling Tiger, 98-82, in the UAAP Season 84 at the Mall of Asia Arena Tuesday.

Down by 13 points at one point in the second period, the Fighting Maroons found their rhythm in the last two quarters – thanks to Zavier Lucero and Joel Cagulangan – to clinch their first win of the season. 

UP regrouped in the third quarter and erased a 6-point deficit, with Carl Tamayo equalizing the game at 48 before Ricci Rivero scored a triple at the 8:11 mark for a 51-48 lead. 

The Fighting Maroons then dropped a 9-0 run to extend their lead into double digits, capped by a finger-roll basket of Gerry Abadiano, 66-56.

UP registered a 12-2 run in the ensuing play to further create a comfortable separation sparked by a basket from Lucero and a three-pointer by James Spencer, 78-60.

In the final period, Rivero stretched their advantage to 21 points after nailing a jumper at the 6:43 mark, 88-67. 

Paul Manalang answered back with a triple while Joshua Fontanilla split his free throws but these were not enough to spark a late rally, 71-88. 

Rivero led the Maroons with 19 markers while Lucero and Tamayo both tallied 18 points. UP also capitalized on Tigers’ turnovers, including 10 in the third quarter alone.

During the first half, Sherwin Concepcion of UST caught fire in the rainbow area, draining four triples in the first quarter alone to give his team an 18-7 start. 

Rafael Pangilinan took over in the second period to make sure to keep the Tigers ahead. He completed a three-point play midway of the quarter, then scored two charities for a 39-27 lead. 

UP had an 8-0 run down the stretch to cut the lead to 48-43, but Pangilinan’s aggressiveness denied them a comeback after another and-one play, 48-38. 

Concepcion had 19 points while Fontanilla and Nicael Cabañero scattered 17 and 16 points, respectively, for the Tigers, who dropped at 0-2. 

The Scores:

UP 98 -- Rivero 19, Lucero 18, Tamayo 18, Spencer 11, Cansino 7, Cagulangan 6, Diouf 6, Catapusan 6, Alarcon 5, Abadiano 2, Eusebio 0, Lina 0, Ramos 0, Calimag 0.

UST 82 -- Concepcion 19, Fontanilla 17, Cabanero 16, M. Pangilinan 13, Manalang 7, Santos 6, Manaytay 4, Ando 0, Gomez de Liano 0, Garing 0, R. Pangilinan 0, Mantua 0, Samudio 0, Yongco 0, Herrera 0.

Quarters: 16-25, 42-48, 78-63, 98-82.