UAAP Exciting UAAP game between the Maroons and the Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena.. UAAP photo

Maroons, Bulldogs prevail

April 2, 2022 Theodore P. Jurado 753 views

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines, continuing to live up to its lofty billing as one of the favorites in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament, scored a wire-to-wire 81-66 victory over University of the East at the Mall of Asia Arena yesterday.

Zav Lucero and Ricci Rivero each had 14 points as the Fighting Maroons extended their winning streak to three games after a season opening loss in the league’s final quadrupleheader before welcoming back the fans at the Pasay venue in a limited capacity starting Tuesday.

In other games, John Lloyd Clemente had 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists as National University overcame Rjay Abbarientos’ 33-point explosion to beat Far Eastern University, 73-68.

University of Santo Tomas, with the backcourt tandem of Paul Manalang and Joshua Fontanilla teaming up for 25 points, posted its second straight win after opening the season with back-to-back double-digit defeats with a 79-72 tripping of Adamson.

The Growling Tigers and the Bulldogs now have 2-2 slates in joint fourth place.

UP coach Goldwin Monteverde is happy the way his troops performing after opening the season with a 81-90 defeat to defending three-time champion Ateneo.

“As a team, nag-i-improve kami and we just have to be consistent,” said Monteverde after the Maroons solidified their hold of third place.

CJ Cansino was the other Maroon in double digits with 10 points, all in the first quarter.

The Red Warriors, who trailed by as much as 30 points, were able to to chop the deficit to 62-73 midway in the payoff period but fell short in their fightback to remain as the only winless squad at 0-4.

The Bulldogs held the Tamaraws to just a single field goal in the final 5:30 to arrest a two-game slide in the matinee.

“At least yung veterans nag step up na,” said NU mentor Jeff Napa. “The past three games, yun yung missing link namin. Nag step-up yung veterans tapos sumama na yung mga rookies kaya nakuha namin yung panalo na to.”

Abarrientos’ output is the most by an FEU player since former league MVP Terrence Romeo also scored 33 in a 87-69 victory over UP on Sept. 11. 2013.

But Abarrientos, who drilled in eight triples, only scored three points on a 1-of-6 shooting in the payoff period as the Tamaraws have lost three in a row after winning the season opener over the Growling Tigers.

Michael Malonzo added 14 points and seven rebounds while Shaun Ildefonso played his best game this season with 13 points and six rebounds despite fouling out in the last 2:09.

The scores:

First game

NU (73) — Clemente 18, Malonzo 14, Ildefonso 13, Minerva 9, Felicilda 7, Figueroa 5, Joson 4, Galinato 2, Tibayan 1, Gaye 0, Enriquez 0, Yu 0, Torres 0, Manansala 0, Mahinay 0.
FEU (68) — Abarrientos 33, Alforque 13, Gonzales 9, Bienes 4, Tempra 4, Ojuola 3, Sajonia 2, Torres 0, Coquia 0, Sleat 0, Li 0, Sandagon 0, Celzo 0.
Quarterscores: 14-18, 32-33, 49-58, 73-68

Second game

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, K. Paranada 13, Pagsanjan 12, Catacutan 5, Lorenzana 5, Pascual 5, Guevarra 4, Tulabut 2, Sawat 2, Beltran 1, P. Cruz 1, Abatayo 0, N. Paranada 0, J. Cruz 0, Antiporda 0.
Quarterscores: 31-14, 50-32, 71-45, 81-66

Third game

UST (79) — Manalang 15, Fontanilla 10, Santos 9, Cabanero 8, Concepcion 7, Herrera 6, Ando 6, Manaytay 5, Mantua 5, Yongco 3, Gomez de Liaño 3, M. Pangilinan 2, Samudio 0, Canoy 0.
AdU (72) — Lastimosa 16, Douanga 16, Magbuhos 8, Peromingan 7, Zaldivar 6, Sabandal 5, Yerro 4, Colonia 3, Hanapi 3, Manzano 2, Maata 2, Jaymalin 0.
Quarterscores: 19-16, 45-41, 64-58, 78-72.