MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The UP Fighting Maroons averted disaster in the clutch and completed an 83-82 overtime comeback over the Adamson Soaring Falcons in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday, September 15.
The debuting Kobe Paras topscored with 20 points to go with 6 rebounds, while Bright Akhuetie recorded a double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds to help last year’s finalist bounce back and improve its standing to 2-1.
Akhuetie capped an 8-0 run with a pair of go-ahead free throws that sealed the win as the Falcons blew a five-point lead after 3 straight turnovers.
The loss spoiled Adamson rookie AP Manlapaz’s efforts down the stretch as he started the extra period with an and-1 layup and a clutch triple that gave the Falcons an 80-75 lead with less than 3 minutes to go.
The stacked Maroons looked headed for an embarrassing loss against their Final Four rivals after Jerrick Ahanmisi pushed the Falcons’ early 3rd quarter lead to 18, 43-25.
However, Paras snapped out of his slow start and spearheaded a massive 22-7 run to take a 47-46 lead with 2:08 to go in the frame.
Batang Gilas forward James Spencer then pushed UP’s sudden lead to 5, 55-50, after starting the payoff period with a three.
Still, Adamson responded with a 9-2 run to retake a 60-57 edge, capped by a Manlapaz corner three at the 7:25 mark. The former Adamson juniors stalwart then doused a small UP run midway through the quarter with a rare four-point play to go up 64-62.
Both teams then traded leads until one-and-done guard Val Chauca sank a clutch go-ahead trey, 69-68, with just 2 minutes left in regulation.
Manlapaz capitalized on the momentum shift and soared to the cup for the layup, 71-68, with 1:30 left before reigning MVP Akhuetie got back with a lay-in of his own.
Javi Gomez de Liaño then erased Adamson’s lead after Jerom Lastimosa’s charities with an open three that knotted the score at 73-all, with 17.5 ticks left.
Adamson had a lot of time off the timeout, but only mustered a desperation heave from Lastimosa as time expired.
Chauca led Adamson’s scoring with 21 points, while Manlapaz chipped in 17 points as the Soaring Falcons dropped to 2-2 in the standings.
UP 83 – Paras 20, Akhuetie 18, Ju. Gomez de Liano 12, Murrell 6, Rivero 6, Spencer 6, Webb 6, Manzo 4, Ja. Gomez de Liano 3, Tungcab 2, Gob 0, Jaboneta 0, Mantilla 0, Prado 0.
Adamson 82 – Chauca 21, Manlapaz 17, Douanga 14, Lastimosa 13, Ahanmisi 7, Magbuhos 4, Camacho 2, Flowers 2, Mojica 2, Fermin 0, Yerro 0, Zaldivar 0.
Quarters: 18-20, 25-41, 52-50, 73-73 (reg.), 83-82 (OT).