MANILA, Philippines – The UP Fighting Maroons extended their winning streak to three games after taking down the UE Red Warriors, 81-66, in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday, April 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fil-Am Zav Lucero came up big once again for UP as he finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds, while Ricci Rivero also delivered 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals.
With the victory, the Fighting Maroons remained at the third spot with a 3-1 record, while the winless Red Warriors stayed at the bottom of the pack with a 0-4 slate.
“If you compare our first game to our game today, we moved the ball better today,” said UP coach Goldwin Monteverede as the Fighting Maroons tallied 17 assists against the Red Warriors.
“We are improving as a team and we just have to be consistent,” he added.
Coming off back-to-back wins, the Fighting Maroons waxed hot early and led by 29 points, 48-19, at one point in the second period. The Red Warriors, however, ended the quarter on a 13-2 run to pull back within 18, 50-32, at halftime
CJ Cansino led UP’s charge in the first half, pouring in all of his 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting, while Rivero chipped in 9 markers on a 3-of-5 clip from the field.
In the third period, the Fighting Maroons once again turned on the jets and stretched their lead to as many as 30 points, 65-35, but UE once again showed some signs of life, trimming the margin to just 11 points, 73-62, midway through the final frame.
Unfortunately for the Red Warriors, their comeback attempt came quite late as the 30-point lead that the Fighting Maroons built was simply too much for them to overcome in the endgame.
Clint Escamis topscored for UE with 16 points, while Kyle Paranada and Harvey Pagsanjan added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
UP takes on the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Tuesday, April 5, at 1 pm, while UE collides with the FEU Tamaraws in the following game at 4 pm.
UP 81 – Lucero 14, Rivero 14, Cansino 10, Tamayo 8, Diouf 7, Spencer 7, Calimag 6, Cagulangan 4, Abadiano 2, Webb 2, Eusebio 2, Lina 2, Catapusan 2, Fortea 1, Alarcon 0.
UE 66 – Escamis 16, Paranada K. 13, Pagsanjan 12, Catacutan 5, Lorenzana 5, Pascual 5, Guevarra 4, Tulabut 2, Sawat 2, Beltran 1, Cruz P. 1, Abatayo 0, Paranada N. 0, Cruz J. 0, Antiporda 0.
Quarters: 31-14, 50-32, 71-45, 81-66.