MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons overwhelmed the National University (NU) Bulldogs, 106-81, on Saturday, November 11, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Fighting Maroons took the lead in the first quarter and the Bulldogs failed to stay close to the Katipunan-based squad throughout the game. The Bulldogs conceded 22 points in the final frame, including a Juan Gomez de Liano slam.
Juan Gomez de Liano. My goodness. pic.twitter.com/wti1hLE1gG— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 11, 2017
The win puts UP a step closer to making the playoffs, but their hopes are pinned on the succeeding match between the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and the Adamson University Soaring Falcons.
A loss of the Tamaraws to the Falcons will send the Fighting Maroons to a battle for 4th seed with FEU.
The Bulldogs, for their part, are now eliminated from the final 4 contention, ending the UAAP careers of veterans J-jay Alejandro and Matt Salem.
The neck-and-neck early first quarter was immediately erased by the Fighting Maroons as Paul Desiderio and the Gomez de Liano brothers, Juan and Javi, led the UP offense.
Desiderio already tallied 21 points – 9 points away from his career-high – at the half.
The Bulldogs enforced turnovers on UP to make a 6-2 run in the third quarter. However, the Fighting Maroons responded with a 12-1 run of their own and Desiderio followed it with a triple at the last 2 seconds of the third period (84-60).
Desiderio matched his career high of 30 points in this game, while grabbing 7 rebounds and passing out 3 assists. The Gomez de Liano recorded double-doubles as Juan and Javi repeated their season-high scores of 22 points and 17 points, respectively.
Issa Gaye led the Bulldogs with a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds. Alejandro scored 16 points and made 8 assists in his last game in the UAAP.
UP (106) – Desiderio 30, Gomez de Liano Ju 22, Gomez de Liano Ja 17, Manzo 14, Ouattara 12, Webb 3, Lim 2, Harris 2, Ricafort 2, Romero 2, Prado 0, Jaboneta 0.
NU (81) – Gaye 25, Alejandro 16, Joson 7, Salem 7, Tibayan 7, Mosqueda 4, Bartlett 4, Diputado 3, Cauilan 3, Aquino 3, Morido 2, Yu 0, Abatayo 0, Lastimosa 0, Flores 0, Rangel 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 34-21, 58-45, 84-60, 106-81