Maroon hoopers bank on strong start, seizes double win vs UE

Maroon shone brighter than red today as the University of the Philippines (UP) men’s and women’s basketball teams seized twin victories against the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors in UAAP Season 86.

State U now maintains their spot in the win column after securing a clean 2-0 record, all coming from matches won with double-digit leads.

An explosive start

The UP Men’s Basketball Team (UP MBT) banked on a strong start to dispatch the gutsy UE Red Warriors, 84-69, and claim their second straight victory at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Fresh from an emphatic win against the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday, the maroon-and-white shirts wasted no time in showing supremacy on the court by piling up a 22-point lead in the opening salvo.

This dominance continued up until the second quarter, where Chicco Briones shot a 3-pointer to extend UP’s lead to 26.

The Red Warriors, however, finally came to life in the third quarter to bring the game down to 62-49. It was UE’s Noy Remogat that fueled momentum for the red shirts as he steamrolled around three Fighting Maroons for a layup, trimming the lead to just nine early in the last quarter.

Fortunately, the remaining time allowed State U to recover their usual poise and drop 10 unanswered points, ultimately shrugging the Red Warriors’ efforts for a comeback..

Reigning MVP Malick Diouf topped the statistic sheets once again with a double-double performance of 19 points, 16 rebounds and three steals.

Meanwhile, returning captain CJ Cansino also put on a show with 17 markers, including three baskets beyond the arc.

Returning team captain CJ Cansino suits up for a 3-pointer vs the UE Red Warriors. Photo by UAAP Media Team

Although UP deputy coach Christian Luanzon lauded the Fighting Maroon’s dominant start, he stressed that some consistency issues enabled the Warriors to cut down the deficit.

“We really emphasized coming into this game ‘yung pace ng laro, and we like how the players responded from the get-go. . . One thing that Coach Gold [Monteverde] would emphasize is the consistency of four quarters. This league is always a marathon not a sprint,” Luanzon said during the post-game interview.

No looking back

Meanwhile, the UP Women’s Basketball Team (UP WBT) made easy work of the UE Lady Warriors after a 66-48 victory at the Adamson University Gym.

Several Lady Maroons rose into the occasion resulting in another comfortable win despite the absence of prized rookie Louna Ozar due to national team duties.

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Marielle Vigno took the driver’s seat for UP with 13 points and three rebounds. Meanwhile, Christie Bariquit also provided steady help, tallying 12 markers and five boards as Nigerian standout Favour Onoh racked up 8 points and 12 rebounds.

Right from the tip-off, UP stepped on the gas pedals with a 15-point cushion in the first quarter.

The Lady Maroons then maintained a 21-point lead and never looked back as they fortified their defense to deny the Warriors any chance of taking the momentum.

No Lady Warrior scored in double digits, but Paulina Anastacio and Dianne Pedregosa dropped 7 points apiece.

Despite this win, UP WBT head coach Paul Ramos expressed that the Lady Maroons still have a lot of room to grow.

“A win is a win. I’m still glad that we won and that we were able to learn more about ourselves. We know we can still do better,” said Ramos.

The UP Fighting Maroons will seek to solidify a 3-0 record in the standings as UP MBT clashes with Season 85 third-placers National University (NU) Bulldogs on Oct. 7, 1 p.m., at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Meanwhile, the UP WBT will go head-to-head with seven-year defending champions NU Lady Bulldogs as Ozar debuts on Oct. 8, 11 a.m. at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

UP MBT QUARTER SCORES: 32-9, 49-28, 62-49, 84-69

UP WBT QUARTER SCORES: 19-4, 33-20, 51-36, 66-48