UP jins fall short of podium finish

Photo and text by Mark Kevin Reginio

This year’s competition proved to be difficult for the University of the Philippines (UP) jins.

For the first time ever, the UP Poomsae team missed the podium finish as they finished fourth with two silvers and two bronzes in the UAAP Season 80 poomsae tournament, Tuesday, at the Ateneo Blue Eagle gym.

The Diliman-based squad has been in the top three since 2013 with a bronze, two silvers, and a gold, which they notched in 2014, but this season is a different story altogether.

With the men’s team division as their only chance for a podium finish, the trio of Lyan Llanto, Jayboy Buenavista and Juanito Sandoy Jr. fell short by a fraction of a point in their final performance accumulating 8.200 points to place second behind the 8.320 of the men’s team of De La Salle University (DLSU).

The Maroons’ poomsae men’s group was also not able to carry momentum to a first-spot finish in the semi-finals with 8.320 points.

“They did their best during the competition and I told [them] whatever place na nakuha natin this season we deserve it. Parang our opponents did also their best, so maybe they deserve that place,” UP head coach Janice Lagman-Lizardo said.

Bright spots for the Fighting Maroons were the bronze medals of Patricia Jubelag in the women’s individual competition and of the duo of Buenavista and Nikki Oliva in the mixed pair.

The women’s team, composed of Jubelag, Oliva and Aina Callos, grabbed the silver.

However, the 2-2 record of UP was still not enough to overcome the 1-1 tally of Far Eastern University as they notched a gold courtesy of the team performance of Faye Crisostomo, Gean Dela Cerna and Nicole Landrito, and a bronze from their male counterpart. The Tamaraw-jins took home the bronze.

“I know the players did their best, we did our best this year. Siguro factor na rin yung pagkawala ng captain (Dustin Mella) namin na super naging anchor ng team,” national team player and women’s team captain Oliva said.

Mella, the former captain of the jins, graduated this year and is now coaching the National University poomsae team.

Meanwhile, University of the Santo Tomas (UST) reclaimed the title with three golds all by the combined forces of national team players Jocel Ninobla and Rodolfo Reyes Jr., and a bronze in women’s team division to dethrone defending champions DLSU.

Coach Lagman-Lizardo, nonetheless, assured that they will bounce back come the next season. “We’re not going to stop training. So, hopefully next year we will be on the top,” she said.

The UP poomsae jins will still join the national team selection before the year ends.

Hot-shooting Maroons score 106 against NU, end season with a bang

Photo by Keith Magcaling

Text by Luisa Morales

It’s been one hell of a ride for the Fighting Maroons.

In their last game of the season, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons dominated the National University (NU) Bulldogs in a blowout win, 106-81, today in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win resulted in State U’s best outing of the season, finishing the game with five Maroons scoring double figures. UP skipper Paul Desiderio and the Gomez de Liaño brothers tied their career high in scoring with 30, 22 and 17 respectively.

Center Ibrahim Outtara packaged a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards. Juan and Javi also contributed 13 and 10 rebounds apiece.

However, the Maroons fell short of a shot for the Final Four, with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws booking the last spot after winning against Adamson University.

It was all UP from the get-go, relying on their stingy defense and hot shooting to put themselves at the forefront throughout the game.

Both teams started strong in the first canto, going back-and-forth in the first few minutes. The Bulldogs tasted their first and only lead early in the first, 13-11 courtesy of a Manuel Mosqueda bucket.

It didn’t take long for the Maroons to pull away. Triggered by nine straight points from Desiderio, UP caught fire to end the first with a double digit lead, 34-21.

By the second period, both teams traded baskets but the Bulldogs failed to lessen the gap and UP ended the half still leading by 13, 58-45.

It was the same story for the Maroons post-half. Going into the third without losing momentum, UP outscored NU 26-15 and the lead ballooned to 24 with ten minutes left in the game.

Despite the huge advantage, UP continued to play all out. Graduating captain Andrew Harris scored a bucket to help State U reach the 100-mark.

The last few minutes of the match saw contributions from other outgoing seniors Paolo Romero and Rob Ricafort to end the game with UP’s largest lead, 106-81.

With UP’s season coming to a close, four Diliman ballers–Ibrahim Ouattara, Romero, Ricafort and Harris–end their career with the Fighting Maroons with the emphatic win.

“I really have mixed feelings about this game. This is just a fitting farewell for these valiant guys,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said.

The seniors reflected on giving their all, regardless if it was their last game or not.

“We wanted to make sure that we came out and played our best. It doesn’t matter how many minutes we played, every time we’re on the court binigay namin ang lahat,” Ricafort said.

Despite not qualifying for the final four, it was a happy way to end the season for the team.

UP finishes the season in fifth place with a 6-8 win-loss record, making it State U’s best record since 2006.

UP MBT bows down to Ateneo, slips away from F4

Photo by Mikee Garcia

Text by Denver Del Rosario

The going gets tougher for State U.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered another setback atthe hands of the unbeaten Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 82-96, today in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Diliman squad gave the Eagles a scare in today’s Battle of Katipunan, leading by as much as 12 points in the game.

The Maroons lost their rhythm in the final minutes of the last canto as the Katipunan squad took advantage and pulled away with the victory.

Rookie Juan Gomez de Liano led State U with 21 points, while captain Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo provided 16 and 13, respectively.

Matt Nieto spearheaded Ateneo’s campaign with 19 points, registering 63% from the field, while Isaac Go and Gian Mamuyac contributed 13 each.

The opening quarter proved to be heated as both teams went back and forth. The Maroons relied heavily on Juan and Manzo for offense, ending the quarter with a slim one-point lead, 23-22.

The two squads continued to play neck and neck in the second canto, registering five deadlocks. A Juan triple and a Jarrell Lim fadeaway jumper in the last few minutes of the quarter gave State U a six-point lead going into the half, 48-42.

The Maroons took advantage of their momentum in the third quarter as they tasted their biggest lead of the game, 54-42. However, the Eagles staged a last-minute rally to end the quarter with a narrow one-point deficit, 63-64.

The Diliman squad suffered a hiccup in the last salvo as Go and Rafael Verano collaborated for Ateneo to take the driver’s seat, 68-79. Refusing to surrender, State U came back with a team effort  to tie the game, 79-all.

However, the Maroons lost steam in the last minutes of the final quarter as Ateneo went on with a 17-3 run to end the game, 82-96.

Despite the loss, UP coach Bo Perasol commends the fight he saw in his team and remains positive going into their final game of eliminations.

“The effort of the guys, their confidence, their desire to get back—that is what I wanted, but I told them that it’s not enough to want to get ahead of the best teams,” he said.

“What is in our heads right now would be to have a good game against NU, and make sure that we win first,” he added.

With the loss, UP’s chance of getting the Final Four slot gets slimmer, with their future depending on their final outing and the turnout of the remaining games.

If the Maroons pull off a victory against the National University (NU) Bulldogs  and third-ranking Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons beat fourth placers Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws on Saturday,, UP will force a Final Four playoff against the Tamaraws.

UP falters against Adamson, slides to fifth place

Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Selina Jo Paredes

After surviving a late game thriller against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to overcome the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 70-86, today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Maroons were plagued by foul trouble all throughout the game. The Soaring Falcons had a huge advantage in the charity stripe, hitting 25-of-28 free throws while UP only had 8-of-10.

Both teams went back and forth in the first frame with all of UP’s starters contributing a bucket, but careless defense made the Soaring Falcons a frequent visitor on the stripe.

Despite this, State U managed to keep their opponents at bay by being down just a point at the end of one, 17-18.

UP committed an early turnover in the second frame, but Maroon Kyles Lao secured a jumper to give State U their second lead, 19-18.

State U found themselves once more in the penalty late in the second and failed to fend an onslaught from Soaring Falcon Papi Sarr late in the frame. At the half, UP trailed by eight points, 31-39.

It was all Adamson in the third as they went on a scorching 13-0 run, leading by as much as 19 until UP skipper Paul Desiderio broke the Maroons’ scoring drought by shooting a pair of free throws. UP ended the quarter down, 50-69.

Determined to get back in the game, State U sparked a 10-0 run early in the fourth led by Desiderio, Gomez de Liano and Jun Manzo to narrow the gap within eight, 66-74.

However, UP could not overcome their cold shooting as they were nailed to 66 points in the closing minutes of the fourth.

In a last ditch effort, Jaboneta made both free throws and Gelo Vito made a bucket to end the game, 70-86.

“I was looking for a reason what numbers they were ahead of… I saw that they attempted 28 free throws out of our 10. It may say a lot about how badly [we] defended because ang dami naming fouls.” UP Head Coach Bo Perasol said on the disparity of free throws in the game.

Three Maroons scored in double figures with Desiderio leading the way with 20 points followed by Manzo with 15, and Javi Gomez De Liano packaged the double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Papi Sarr led the way for Adamson with 25 points and 17 boards.

Dropping to fifth place with a 5-7 record, UP will go up against the still undefeated Ateneo Blue Eagles in a crucial game this Wednesday to stay in contention.

UP struggles anew, falls short against UE

Photo by Keith Magcaling

Text by Luisa Morales

With reports from Bei Zamora

It was another sorry Sunday for the Diliman community.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to get back on the win column, losing against seventh-seed University of the East (UE), 64-73 in the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre, Sunday.

UE skipper Alvin Pasaol was hot from the get-go, opening the game with back-to-back threes to give the Red Warriors a quick 6-0 lead.

State U managed to get on the scoreboard with a bucket from Maroon center Ibrahim Ouattara, his only field goal in the game. Outtara spent most of his time on the bench after committing three personal fouls early in the game.

A tough start for the Diliman offense would leave them struggling to score throughout the first frame. At the end of the opening period, UP was down 13-21.

Come the second quarter, UP rookie Juan Gomez de Liano sparked the team’s offense with two treys in a row.

A bucket from fellow rookie Jun Manzo and another from Juan gave the Maroons their first lead at 23-21.

But the lead would be short lived. After UP’s scorching run to start the quarter, UE answered back with a 15-5 rally to lead the Diliman team 36-28 at the half.

After receiving a much-needed wake up call during half time, the Maroon offense once again came alive in the third canto.

Both the Maroons and Warriors traded buckets during the period, with neither team pulling away too far. UP only trailed by one, 47-48 with one quarter to go.

During the final quarter, Pasaol once again started hot with six straight points. Another bucket from the Red Warriors stretched their lead to nine, 57-48.

Despite efforts from Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan to propel UP back in the game, UE’s offense proved too strong to overcome.

Combining for 39 points, the Gomez de Liano brothers proved to be the only bright spot for UP with Juan scoring a career-high 22 markers while Javi contributed 17.

It was a dismal outing for UP’s starters, with the starting five contributing a combined 17 points. State U’s go-to-man skipper Paul Desiderio was held to eight while starting guard Jun Manzo settled for seven.

Meanwhile, Pasaol scored a game-high 32 points on 11/21 shooting while Mark Olayon contributed 11 for the Warriors.“We have to address our reliance on mostly Jun and Paul.… I don’t think that any one or two [players] can give us a chance to really go up another level,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said after the game.

Perasol lamented his team’s character, citing struggles about discovering who they are and what they can achieve as a team.

“It’s definitely a work in progress but we’re not going to stop… I told them that I’m not going to give up on them… We have so much work to do in those four games,” Perasol added.

UP will face tough match-ups during the final stretch of the second round, going up against teams like the undefeated Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles and season hosts Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws.

The Fighting Maroons fall to a 4-6 record. Due to the quotient rule, UP stands at sixth place in the standings below National University’s identical 4-6 slate.

Mbala grounds Desiderio, powers DLSU against UP

Photo by Maegan Gaspar

Text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered another setback at the hands of De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 62-85, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Maroons failed to repeat its first round victory over the Archers, who played amazing offense and defense from the get-go.

DLSU was successful in having big man Ben Mbala defend UP skipper Paul Desiderio, who only registered seven points and a dismal 15% shooting success rate.

The Diliman team started strong in the opening salvo with Jarrell Lim and Javi Gomez de Liano scoring from downtown to take the lead, 9-4.

However, the Taft squad responded in the last few minutes with treys of their own, courtesy of returning player Aljun Melecio and Jolo Go who gave their team the lead, 24-14, to end the first quarter.

The Archers continued its rampage in the second canto, capitalizing on the Maroons’ turnovers and fouls. The Taft squad held a comfortable 24-point lead by halftime, 51-27, courtesy of Mbala’s charity shots and Ricci Rivero from inside the paint.

Jun Manzo tried to uplift the Diliman team with a 13-point blast in the third quarter. However, the deficit was too big as the Archers still held the driver’s seat, 65-45.

It was all downhill from the Maroons as DLSU maintained aggressive in their offense and defense.

Ibrahim Ouattara tried to do some last-minute heroics by registering eight points in the final frame, but the Archers ultimately went away with the game with a 23-point lead, marking UP’s biggest margin of loss this season.

Mbala and Ricci Rivero led the onslaught for the Taft squad with 27 and 20 points, respectively.

On the other hand, Manzo was the lone Maroon scoring double digits with 13 points, all from the third quarter.

UP coach Bo Perasol admitted the lack of drive from his team, especially in the first two quarters.

“You cannot have a chance against powerhouse DLSU if you don’t bring your best game.” Perasol said. “We weren’t able to shoot, and hindi talaga namin nagawan ng solusyon.”

Desiderio took blame for the loss as he was caught off guard with DLSU’s tactic of Mbala defending him.

“Pagdating nung second quarter, wala talaga akong choice kundi bantayan si Ben,” he said. “Napagod din ako.”

With the loss, UP rests at fifth place with a 4-5 win-loss record.

UP will attempt to go back to its winning ways against the University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday.

Maroon Smashers take home silver

Photo and text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Maroon Smashers ends their campaign with a 1st runner-up finish after bowing down to powerhouse National University (NU) in straight games, 0-3, today in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 men’s badminton finals.
En route to the finals, State U ended a drought against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Shuttlers, defeating the Katipunan squad, 3-1 in the semis.
The Diliman squad lost Game 1 yesterday to the Bulldogs, 1-3. NU gets its fourth straight championship with a perfect 35-0 record.
Meanwhile the women’s team failed to take a comeback win against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Shuttlers, 2-3 and trail 0-1 in the best of three finals.

Jaboneta catches fire, lifts UP past UST

Photo by Ally Sanga

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons are finally back on the win column at the expense of still winless University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 71-69, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Starting for the first time in his UAAP career, Fighting Maroon Janjan Jaboneta played flawlessly against the Espana squad. Jaboneta led the team with 12 points from 4/4 shooting from the three-point line.

It was another strong start for the Fighting Maroons, outscoring the Tigers 13-2 in the first two minutes of the match. But it seemed that UP’s offensive steam quickly ran out, only scoring a bucket in the remaining eight minutes of the period.

UST took advantage of this and went on a run of their own to lead UP, 17-15 at the end of the first.

Determined to ignite the Maroons’ offense once again, rookie Juan Gomez De Liano opened the second with a three to regain the lead, 18-17.

Both squads traded baskets and found themselves at 22-all, but a 9-0 explosive run by UP pulled them away to lead 31-22.

Stingy defense from the Diliman squad prevented the Tigers from catching up and ended the half leading by eight, 40-32.

After the half, UP’s offense didn’t falter. Despite efforts from UST to take the lead, State U still held a decent six-point lead with one quarter to go, 61-55.

Familiar with having difficulty in endgame, the Maroons made sure not to falter when it mattered the most. Tight defensive plays courtesy of Ibrahim Outtara and Paolo Romero would deny UST their first six field goals in the fourth.

But the Tigers weren’t going anywhere just yet. Foul trouble from the Maroons gave UST frequent trips to the foul line to keep them in the game.

A clutch three from UST’s Marvin Lee gave UP a scare, with the Maroons lead cut to one, 70-69 with eleven seconds to go.

Luckily for the Maroons, split free throws from Jun Manzo extended their lead to a couple, 71-69.

During the final possession, Lee heaved a hail mary three but couldn’t convert.

“We just wanted to get another win after the three loses we had, this is something that can at least perk us up, make us believe again that we can still do this” UP head coach Bo Perasol said after the game.

Overall, UP had an advantage in taking care of the ball. State U finished the game with only seven turnovers while the Tigers gave the ball away 23 times, with nine coming off Maroon steals.

Jaboneta led the Maroons with 12 while rookie Jun Manzo and skipper Paul Desiderio contributed 11 and 10 markers, respectively.

“Sobrang thankful ko lang kay coach na binigyan ako ng chance. It’s my first time to start sa UAAP career ko and di ko binigo si coach, binigay ko yung best ko” Jaboneta said.

Meanwhile Lee paced the Tigers with 17, Jorem Soriano following closely behind with 14 and Jordan Sta. Ana contributed 13.

UP improves their slate to 4-4 while UST remains winless after eight matches in the season.

State U looks to repeat their first round victory against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers when they face the defending champions on Sunday, Oct. 15.

UP loses third straight, falls short against NU

Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to end the first round on a high note, losing to the National University (NU) Bulldogs, 70-77, today at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.

UP held the lead early in the first, courtesy of Maroon guard Diego Dario’s six points in the quarter.

Building off their momentum, State U’s offense continued to show in the second. The Diliman team had several chances to push the lead to double digits but settled for a nine point lead at halftime, 38-29.

The second half would spell trouble for UP. At the eight minute mark, Diliman Rookie Jun Manzo went down after NU Bulldog Issa Gaye accidentally stepped on his heel.

Manzo would eventually sit out the rest of the game. UP struggled after his exit but still managed to end the third within a trey’s reach, 53-56.

Despite State U’s hustle to get back in the fourth, UP could only manage a deadlock at 70-all with a minute and a half remaining.

The Bulldogs would eventually fire up a 7-0 run at the last minute to grab the win, 77-70.

Overall, it was a close game with 10 deadlocks and seven lead changes throughout the match.

Manzo’s injury left a big hole in the Maroons’ offense, only managing six points in 17 minutes. UP skipper Paul Desiderio led the squad with 15, followed by Dario contributing 11 points.

Javi Gomez de Liano had a good all around game with 10 points, 8 boards and 6 assists.

“He’s hurting right now. I’m just hoping he’ll be able to play in the next games because everybody knows that he’s going to be needed sa campaign namin,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said on Manzo after the game.

UP plummets to sixth place with a 3-4 record after the first round.

“Hindi pwedeng muntik na tayo manalo eh, we just have to find a way to get through that hump… It shouldn’t have been easy but we could’ve been 5-2 right now instead of 3-4,” Perasol lamented after losing two close games.

Despite a three-game losing streak to end the first round, Perasol remains hopeful going into the next set of games.

UP loses thriller against Adamson

Photos by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Luisa Morales

The Fighting Maroons got a taste of their own medicine.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered a heartbreaker at the hands of the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 71-73, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Reminiscent of Paul Desiderio’s last second shot against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in their season opener, Soaring Falcon Sean Manganti dealt a fatal blow with a putback to give Adamson the lead with one second to go.

State U started the game strong, converting bucket after bucket to lead Adamson, 17-3. Stingy defense from the Maroon squad left the Falcons with only a single field goal until the four-minute mark of the first.

But Adamson slowly recovered, going back and forth with the Maroons. By the end of the first, UP held a nine-point lead, 25-16

It was all Adamson during the second frame, with Soaring Falcon Jerrick Ahanmisi scoring 17 markers single-handedly while the whole UP squad had 19.

The Maroons were holding onto a slim one-point lead, 44-43, courtesy of UP Rookie Lorenzo Battad’s first UAAP basket.

After the half, both teams exchanged blows to keep the game close. But the San Marcelino squad came out with a 3-point lead, 57-54, with one quarter to go.

Adamson continued to convert at the fourth, leading UP by as much as six. But State U wasn’t going away that easy.

The Diliman team caught up with a few baskets of their own and led by two, 67-65, despite skipper Desiderio failing to convert on an and-one opportunity.

No team could pull away. The game was in deadlock, 71-all with 22 seconds to go. But Adamson was able to convert with a Manganti putback to take the lead with a second left.

State U was unable to inbound the ball and lost the game, 71-73.

Desiderio and Jun Manzo paced the Maroons with 19 points each. Rookie Juan Gomez de Liano struggled all game, only scoring three points.

Despite the loss, UP head coach Bo Perasol focused on the positives of the game.

“We just have to pick up the good things about [the game] and find a way how we can get another win” Perasol said.

The UP coach commented on the team being unable to sustain a lead, losing a double-digit lead in the first period.

Perasol wanted his bench to step up after his starters, “I challenged the people coming off the bench… if I had a team that could sustain how we start, I can say for sure we’ll be in the final four.” He said.

The UP bench was outscored, 14-27 by Adamson’s reserves.

The loss puts UP with an even 3-3 slate. State U looks to fnish the first round strong in their match against National University (NU) on Sunday.

UP receives wake up call, blowout from FEU

Photo by Keith Magcaling

Text by Selina Jo Paredes

After a morale-boosting victory against defending champions De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons sputtered against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 59-78, today at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

State U’s offense fell quiet as FEU posted them to their season low in scoring and pushed their winning streak against the Maroons to 12, dating back to the second round of Season 74 of the UAAP.

UP opened the first frame by taking the early lead off a Juan Gomez De Liaño three-pointer, but Ron Dennison and Richard Escoto were quick to score back-to-back baskets to give FEU a one-point advantage, 4-3.

Paul Desiderio answered with a triple to give UP their second and final lead throughout the game as the Tamaraws continued to hound the Maroons with their relentless defense and ended the first up by 4, 14-18.

Come second frame, FEU was quick to take advantage of the hole in UP’s defense as they scored six unanswered points early in the quarter.

Late in the second, Desiderio scored what would be his last bucket of the game. At the end of the first half, the Diliman squad found themselves down by 16.

The Tamaraws scored by committee early in the third with all players on the floor contributing a basket to further widen their lead, momentum briefly switched to the Maroons side late in the frame, as they made a 7-0 run and held FEU to just 56 points.

Despite cutting the deficit to 10, UP’s offense froze in the fourth as they were unable to hold off the Tamaraws that bolted a 16-0 run.

With less than 90 seconds left in the game, the Maroons sparked an 8-0 run which could only trim FEU’s lead to 19 points. At the final minute of the game, Maroon small forward Noah Webb went down with an apparent ankle sprain.

State U’s backcourt consisting of Team Captain Desiderio and rookie Jun Manzo had a rough outing, scoring a mere 13 points combined.

“Ineexpect ko na talaga na, grabe, halos di na ko makatanggap ng bola sa struggle, titira ako may tao na talaga.” Desiderio said on his off-game.

On how they’re going to bounce back next game, head coach Bo Perasol said, “We have to cut short our lamentations and focus on the next game kasi what’s important is we cannot get pulled down by our emotions.”

Big man Ibrahim Ouattara set his career-high of 17 points and was active around the rim to secure 13 boards to package the double-double alongside the career-high effort of Juan Gomez De Liaño with 16 points to serve as bright spots for the Diliman squad’s offense

Tamaraws Dennison and Escoto led the way for FEU with 16 and 12 points, respectively.

The UP Fighting Maroons are looking to bounce-back against Jerrick Ahanmisi and the Adamson Soaring Falcons at The Big Dome this Wednesday, Oct.4.

Webb will be unable to play on Wednesday’s game.

WALANG IMPOSIBLE: UP stuns defending champions DLSU

Photo by Maegan Gaspar

Text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons scored an upset against the defending champions De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 98-87, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

From a slow start in the first canto, the Maroons never looked back as they held the driver’s seat in the succeeding quarters.

It was a well-fought match for UP with everyone contributing from offense to defense.

The Archers put up a scare from the get-go as center Ben Mbala exploded with four treys. A three-point basket from Andrei Caracut gave DLSU its biggest lead of the match, 23-9.

Captain Paul Desiderio led the charge for the Diliman squad in the second quarter, responding with a shot from downtown and getting the free throw at 4:58 to tie the game, 35-all.

The second canto also saw the debut of State U’s Rob Ricafort who closed the quarter with a basket, giving his team the lead, 47-43.

The third quarter became intensely contested as both teams refused to let the other pull away.

Desiderio responded to Mbala’s first quarter blast by registering four treys in the third quarter, which ended with a very slim lead in favor of the Maroons, 66-65.

The Archers struggled in the final canto as bench players created damage for the Maroons.

Janjan Jaboneta and Jarrell Lim contributed three shots from downtown to widen their lead, 79-71.

The Taft squad eventually lost steam as the Maroons distanced themselves to seal the game, 98-87.

Desiderio spearheaded the onslaught for Diliman with a career-high 30 points, registering 60% from the three-point area. Manzo added 17, while the Gomez de Leaño brothers contributed 10 each.

Mbala led his team with 34 big points, 21 of which came from the first half. Caracut and Ricci Rivero added 15 and 12 points respectively.

UP head coach Bo Perasol praised his team for playing with a winning attitude despite being up against the defending champions.

“Before the game, somebody forwarded me (a tweet) from Jun Manzo, saying, walang imposible sa naniniwala,” he said. “Parang nahiya ako sa sarili ko, that my players believed we can win this game and compete with a powerhouse La Salle team.”

UP now holds a 3-1 win-loss card, tying with DLSU in second place.

The Maroons will next face the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Oct. 1 at the Araneta Coliseum.