Just when the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons were about to turn things around, Adamson’s Sean Manganti breaks UP’s hearts once again as he banked on the corner triple that ripped the Fighting Maroons’ chances for a solo fourth place in the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday, October 28, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Following Juan Gomez de Liaño’s shot from beyond the arc, UP inched closer at 70-74 with only 1:32 left in the game. But the Soaring Falcons came back just in time to close out the game and secure a semifinals berth, 72-80.

State U staged a behemoth comeback with a 24-2 run to trim the lead from 41-67 to 65-69, courtesy of back-to-back buckets from Bright Akhuetie and the younger Gomez de Liano. Still, the Maroons fell short in completing the chase, slugging them to fifth place tied with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws.

UP was off to a quiet start, losing their grip on an early lead due to costly turnovers.

Adamson’s Egie Boy Mojica opened for a three to even out at the end of the first, 12-all.

Jun Manzo responded quickly at the start of the second frame, while UP captain Paul Desiderio struggled to convert his trips to the charity stripe shooting a mere 1-of-5, coming off a 31-point career high game.

The Soaring Falcons took advantage of the sloppy UP defense atop Papi Sarr’s field goal successes to enter halftime up, 26-34.

UP continued to trail AdU in the third frame, relying on Akhuetie’s rebound plays and Manzo’s fastbreak finishes.

It was Jerrick Ahanmisi who churned out unstoppable three-pointers to stretch Adamson’s lead to 17, 35-52, with 5:20 left.

Akhuetie finished with another double-double of 24 points and 15 rebounds, while the younger Gomez-de Liano had 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Jerrick Ahanmisi paced the Soaring Falcons with 24 points.

UP hopes to bounce back against the National University (NU) Bulldogs on Saturday, November 3, at the Ynares Sports Center Antipolo. TNP

Photo by Clarizzah Tualla

The Scores

UP 72 – Akhuetie 24, Ju. Gomez de Liano 15, Desiderio 13, Manzo 8, Ja. Gomez de Liano 5, Vito 5, Jaboneta 2, Lim 0, Dario 0, Prado 0, Gozum 0.

Adamson 80 – Ahanmisi 24, Lastimosa 14, Sarr 12, Manganti 10, Catapusan 5, V. Magbuhos 4, Pingoy 3, Camacho 3, Mojica 3, Bernardo 2, Zaldivar 0.

Quarters: 12-12, 34-26, 67-48, 80-72

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