MAROONS LUMAPIT SA TWICE-TO-BEAT INCENTIVE; EAGLES PASOK NA SA SEMIS

Mga laro sa Sabado:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
11 a.m. – AdU vs NU (Men)
1 p.m. – FEU vs UST (Men)
3 p.m. – UE vs DLSU (Men)
6:30 p.m. – UP vs Ateneo (Men)

NALUSUTAN ng defending champion University of the Philippines ang matamlay na first half upang gapiin ang also-ran University of Santo Tomas, 78-60, at lumapit sa twice-to-beat bonus sa Final Four ng UAAP men’s basketball tournament kahapon sa Mall of Asia Arena.

Ikinatuwa ni Christian Luanzon, isa sa pinagkakatiwalaang assistants ni coach Goldwin Monteverde, ang pag-step up ng Fighting Maroons sa second half makaraang mapanatiling dikit ng Growling Tigers ang laro matapos ang dalawang quarters.

“’Yung season very competitive. You cannot take any team for granted,” sabi ni Luanzon. “In the case of UST, coming into this game, it’s always difficult to play a team in a sense that has nothing to lose. But I’m sure on their end, sina coach Bal (David) and coach Rodney (Santos), they have their own standards preparing for the next season or whatever.”

“As you saw, they came out really sharp in the first half and we are just grateful na naka-bounce back kami sa second half and we were able to get this win,” anang dating Growling Tigers standout noong early 2000s.

Sa iba pang laro ay pinataob ng Ateneo ang University of the East sa overtime, 69-66, upang hilahin ang kanilang Final Four streak sa walong sunod na season.

Umakyat ang Blue Eagles sa solo second na may 9-3 record at lumakas ang kanilang kampanya para sa twice-to-beat semifinals incentive.

Umangat naman ang UP sa best record sa liga sa 11-2 papasok sa Finals rematch sa Ateneo sa Sabado.

Samantala, naitala ni Penny Estacio ang lahat ng kanyang 13 points sa pivotal third period nang palawigin ng La Salle ang kanilang winning streak sa tatlong laro sa 63-58 panalo kontra National University.

Iskor:
Unang laro:
UP (78) — Tamayo 19, Gonzales 14, Diouf 10, Cagulangan 8, Lucero 6, Abadiano 4, Galinato 4, Spencer 3, Ramos 3, Calimag 3, Alarcon 2, Torculas 2, Lina 0, Eusebio 0, Andrews 0.
UST (60) — Cabañero 14, Faye 12, Calimag 7, Pangilinan 6, Manalang 6, Laure 4, Mantua 4, Manaytay 3, Magdangal 2, Garing 2, Herrera 0, Escobido 0, Gesalem 0.
QS: 15-16, 37-34, 59-49, 78-60

Ikalawang laro:
DLSU (63) — Estacio 13, Nelle 10, M. Phillips 9, Nonoy 7, Cortez 7, Quiambao 6, Abadam 4, Austria 2, B. Phillips 2, Nwankwo 2, Macalalag 1, Winston 0.
NU (58) — Figueroa 19, Clemente 15, Manansala 5, John 4, Enriquez 4, Baclaan 4, Palacielo 2, Mahinay 2, Padrones 2, Minerva 1, Malonzo 0, Yu 0, Galinato 0, Tibayan 0, Tulabut 0.
QS: 14-14, 32-28, 48-37, 63-58

Ikatlong laro:
Ateneo (69) — Ballungay 14, Ildefonso 12, Kouame 12, Padrigao 9, Andrade 6, Gomez 6, Lazaro 5, Koon 3, Daves 2, Garcia 0, Chiu 0.
UE (66) — Remogat 21, Villegas 11, Sawat 6, Pagsanjan 5, K. Paranada 5, Stebens 5, Payawal 5, Gilbuena 4, N. Paranada 2, Tulabut 2, Beltran 0, Alcantara 0.
QS: 18-11, 29-30, 47-50, 62-62, 69-66.