MANILA - (UPDATED) University of the Philippines staged a tremendous rally in the fourth quarter to once again turn back Adamson University in thrilling fashion, 81-77, Sunday at the Yñares Center in Antipolo City.
In another cardiac encounter between the two squads, it was Jun Manzo who sparked the Fighting Maroons' fight back in the final quarter, while Kobe Paras drilled the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:25 left to play.
The result hiked UP's record to 7-4 in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament, putting them half a game ahead of University of Santo Tomas (7-5) for second place in the league standings.
Meanwhile, it was another bitter loss for the Soaring Falcons. They led by 12 points in the fourth quarter but could not buy a basket down the stretch, and thus fell to 4-7 -- one and a half games behind Far Eastern University for the fourth seed.
Paras finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, while Manzo scored 17 points and added 7 rebounds and 3 dimes. Bright Akhuetie put up 12 points, 11 boards, and 6 assists in the win. Juan Gomez de Liano had one of his best games of the season, with 15 points, 4 boards, and a pair of assists.
"This is a big win for us," said UP head coach Bo Perasol. "But we need to focus on the next one. This is going to be for naught if we don't catch up with the others."
Adamson was in control, 72-60, with 7:10 left to play after a booming three-pointer by Joem Sabandal.
But Manzo was there to steady the ship for UP. He sparked the 16-2 run that put the Fighting Maroons ahead, 76-74, with 2:20 left, scoring the putback off his own missed lay-up to finally give UP the lead.
Jerom Lastimosa drained a three-pointer to give Adamson its last taste of the lead, 77-76, with 1:46 to go, but Paras responded with a huge triple of his own to give the advantage back to UP for good.
The Maroons clamped down on defense the rest of the way, shackling Jerrick Ahanmisi, Val Chauca and Lenda Dounga; they wound up outscoring UP 24-11 in the final frame.
Perasol was full of praise for Manzo for his performance.
"Napakaganda ng pinakita niya, not only his scoring but his leadership inside, his calmness," he said.
Chauca finished with 19 points, but he only scored two points in the second half. He also committed 4 turnovers. Ahanmisi had 13 points, but was scoreless in the final frame. Camacho scored all 11 of his points in the third frame.
UP has now won four consecutive games against Adamson, dating back to their classic semifinals series last year.
UP 81 -- Paras 21, Manzo 17, Ju. Gomez de Liano 15, Akhuetie 12, Rivero 7, Ja. Gomez de Liano 5, Tungcab 3, Webb 1, Mantilla 0, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
ADAMSON 77 -- Chauca 19, Ahanmisi 13, Camacho 11, Lastimosa 9, Manlapaz 5, Douanga 4, Magbuhos 4, Fermin 3, Mojica 3, Sabandal 3, Yerro 3.
Quarters: 11-19, 36-37, 57-66, 81-77.
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