Fighting Maroons beat down upon Growling Tigers

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc

Jun Manzo makes a hook shot in danger of being blocked by Zach Huang. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


UP and UST exchanged leads 17 times, before the Fighting Maroons succumbed to the Growling Tigers’ defense and stunning perimeter scoring in their second UAAP Season 82 match-up on October 16 at the Mall of Asia Arena. UP lost to UST again, 78-84, for a 6-4 win-loss record and, still, solo second standing after Ateneo de Manila University.

UST scored their first 15 points with three consecutive and two consecutive three-pointers by CJ Cansino and Sherwin Concepcion, respectively—a barrage overcome nonetheless by Kobe Paras, Jun Manzo, and David Murrell, who also succeeded in their three-pointers, and by Bright Akhuetie scoring inside. But UP’s 19-15 lead was wiped out by double three-pointers by Concepcion and Zac Huang. The first quarter ended at 22-23 in favor of UST.


Jun Manzo makes a successful lay-up past Brent Paraiso’s guarding. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


Bright Akhuetie makes a basket. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


UST began padding its lead early in the second quarter. It was almost midway through the quarter and the score was 27-36, the Tigers’ biggest lead, when Paras hurt his right shoulder from landing full-impact near the UP baseline after his drive was blocked by Soulemane Chabi Yo. Around a minute later, UST’s Mark Nonoy twisted his ankle after stepping on Juan Gomez de Liaño’s foot upon landing from a three-point attempt. Paras and Nonoy had to be sent to the dugout for medical attention, but both managed to return in the second half.


Kobe Paras is assisted toward the dugout after hurting his shoulder in a collision with Soulemane Chabi Yo. Photo by Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO.


The rest of the second quarter was highlighted by Ricci Rivero scoring eight points for UP, the last six from two consecutive treys that countered the three-pointers by UST’s Renzo Subido and Concepcion. But it was not enough to conquer the lead. The quarter ended at 41-48.


David Murrell tries to get a shot past Soulemane Chabi Yo. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


Ricci Rivero makes a hook shot to evade Zach Huang. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


The third quarter was an uphill but gainful offense for the Maroons as they scored 16 points over the Tigers’ 12. At the end, UST’s lead was down to three, 57-60.


Kobe Paras sinks his charity. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


Ricci Rivero makes a basket. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


The last quarter saw lead changes all over again. UP’s Javi Gomez de Liaño and UST’s Subido made the only three pointers halfway through the quarter, with the latter giving UST a four-point lead, 66-70. Paras answered with a basket, then Javi Gomez de Liaño sank a trey to give the Fighting Maroons a one-point lead at the turn of the last four minutes.

After four more lead changes, Paras’ three got the UP crowd on their feet, pushing the earlier one-point Maroon lead from Juan Gomez de Liaño’s inside shot. The score was 78-74 with a minute and forty left in the game.


The UP crowd rises on their feet as the Fighting Maroons gain a decisive lead. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.


Enthusiastic Fighting Maroons supporters near the bleachers. Photo by Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO.


The celebration was short-lived, however, as a foul was called on Manzo, who was behind Subido when the latter slipped while crossing the half court to the UST side. Subido completed his charities. A three-pointer by UST’s Brent Paraiso followed a few seconds after the turn of the last minute, snatching the lead back for UST, 78-79. UP failed to convert on their ball possession, giving Subido the chance to deliver a coup de grace via another three-pointer with 26 seconds left in the game. With the score at 78-82, UP went for a three-pointer to close the gap but the play did not pan out as Paras’ ball skimmed the rim.

The Maroons were left in defense, fouling on Chabi Yo and Paraiso, who made one of two free throws each and ended the game at 78-84.


The Fighting Maroons in a huddle before their second match-up with the Growling Tigers. Photo by Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO.