University of the Philippines (UP) scored its first win of the season after a 75-71 trouncing of University of the East (UE), on Wednesday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Jose Manuel finished with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists to help UP improve its record to one win against three losses.
Andres Desiderio with a double-double performance, contributed 17 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and two steals to the Fighting Maroons’ sweet win.
“The whole team were just happy and enjoying this win. There is always light at the end of the tunnel,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol during the postgame news conference.
Perasol added they no longer have to worry about getting a 0-14 card this season but just focusing on their next opponent.
UP’s come-from-behind triumph started during the second half and was fortified by their 57-58 start in the fourth quarter.
With 7:40 left in the game, Andrew Harris goes for two points off a rebound to tie the score at 63-all.
Philip Manalang’s lay-up shot allowed them to pull away from the Katipunan-based squad again.
Edson Batiller scored a jumper for UE, 67-63, but Desiderio retaliated for UP reducing the gap to only two points.
Harris then scored a free throw followed by Jarell Lim’s triple en route to a 69-67 lead with two minutes on the clock.
Manuel posted a jumper and clutch free throws to extend the lead by four points in the dying 26.9 seconds sealing their victory over the Red Warriors.
“This is my final year and we will be enjoying this season,” said Manuel, who will be graduating along with Lim.
Mark Olayon, meanwhile, contributed 15 points and six rebounds while Batiller had 14 markers, eight rebounds and six assists for UE.
UE remains winless after four games.
In the second game, Adamson University (AdU) beat National University (NU), 64-51, to take the solo second spot in the tournament.
Adamson improved its record to 3-1 while NU fell to third spot with a 2-2 card.
Sarr Papi scored 13 points and 17 rebounds while Frederick Tungcab had 11 markers for the Soaring Falcons.
Adamson banked on their defensive play to limit their opponents to only 30 percent shooting.
Alfred Aroga, on the other hand, finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Matthew Salem chipped in nine points for NU.