MANILA, Philippines - The University of Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons escaped a tight opening game with a victory against the University of the Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 74-73, on Sunday, September 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Down by two with 5 seconds remaining in regulation, Paul Desiderio nailed a triple to put UP on top by the game's final margin with 1.1 remaining to play.
PAUL. DESIDERIO. WOW. #UAAPSeason80 pic.twitter.com/9wp7J66J2K — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 10, 2017
The Growling Tigers started the game strong by building an early 7-point lead against the Fighting Maroons, 11-4, but UP rallied back to close the gap to one by the end of quarter, 19-18, as UST's Steve Akomo was subbed out of the rotation.
Both teams improved their accuracy by the second, however it was the Fighting Maroons who began pulling away with an 8-0 run that allowed UP to take the lead at the end of the first half, 42-33.
Despite the low-scoring affair early in the third quarter, Akomo made the first two slams of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament that tied the score at 49-all.
Prior to the start of UAAP, UP and UST faced eligibilty issues regarding the residency of their foreign players Ibrahim Outtara and Steve Akomo, but the UAAP board arrived at a decision to give them the go signal to play this season on Friday, September 8.
Desiderio led the Fighting Maroons to victory with 17 points and 9 boards. For the Growling Tigers, Lee put in 20 markers and made 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Akomo followed with 15 points and provided inside presence by making 14 boards.
This win puts UP at 1-0 record in the league, while UST falls to 0-1 in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament.
UP (74): Desiderio 17, Vito 9, Webb 7, Juan Gomez De Liano 7, Manzo 6, Javier Gomez De Liano 6, Outtara 4, Lim 4, Prado 4, Dario 4, Lao 4, Romero 2, Harris 0.
UST (73): Lee 20, Akomo 15, Sta Ana 11, Soriano 8, Huang 6, Garcia 5, Faundo 4, Arana 2, De Guzman 2, Basibas 0, Caunan 0, Kwawukumey, 0, Macasaet 0, Romero 0.
Quarter scores: 19-18, 42-33, 57-57, 74-73. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.