UP Fighting Maroons notch four straight wins in UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball

| Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta

UP Fight: Members of the UP community cheer for the Fighting Maroons during the match with ADU. Photo by the UAAP Media Group.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons continue their winning streak, notching four more wins over National University’s Bulldogs, 80-70, on March 31; the University of the East’s Red Warriors, 81-66, on April 2; Adamson University’s Soaring Falcons, 73-71, on April 5; and the De La Salle University Green Archers, 61-59, on April 7.

With five straight wins and one loss against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, The UP Men’s Basketball Team (MBT) ranks 2nd in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines’s (UAAP) Season 84’s Men’s Basketball Seniors Division Team Standings, below ADMU and followed by DLSU.

The basketball games under UAAP Season 84—the first to open since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country into lockdown—are currently being held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City and welcoming live audiences to the games starting April 4.

UP’s Ricci Rivero soared high during the game against NU. Photo by the UAAP Media Group.

In the match against the NU Bulldogs, the UP Fighting Maroons came alive in the fourth period to win the game with a 10-point lead, with timely baskets from Zav Lucero, CJ Cansino, and Joel Cagulangan, and Ricci Rivero. Rivero, now one of the more senior members of the UP MBT, tallied 19 points, four assists, and two steals for the Maroons. Carl Tamayo chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds. Cagulangan unleashed nine points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Michael Malonzo led NU with 11 points, while Reyland Torres got 10 points, five rebounds, and four steals.

The Scores:

UP 80 – Rivero 19, Tamayo 13, Cagulangan 9, Fortea 8, Cansino 8, Spencer 6, Lucero 5, Diouf 4, Alarcon 4, Catapusan 2, Abadiano 2, Ramos 0, Lina 0.

NU 70 – Malonzo 11, Torres 10, Clemente 9, Mahinay 9, Felicilda 8, Ildefonso 7, Enriquez 4, Galinato 4, Tibayan 4, Joson 2, Manansala 2, Figueroa 0, Minerva 0, Yu 0.

Quarterscores: 20-25, 42-39, 55-53, 80-70.

In the heat of the match between a UP Fighting Maroon and a UE Red Warrior. Photo by the UAAP Media Group.

Opposite the UE Red Warriors, the UP MBT wrested a 17-point lead at the end of the 1st quarter. The team held on to it by a 26-point gap at the end of the 3rd quarter. UP Maroons’ Zav Lucero scored big again after finishing with 14 points and six rebounds, while Ricci Rivero also delivered 14 points, three rebounds, and three steals.

The Scores

UP 81 – Lucero 14, Rivero 14, Cansino 10, Tamayo 8, Diouf 7, Spencer 7, Calimag 6, Cagulangan 4, Abadiano 2, Webb 2, Eusebio 2, Lina 2, Catapusan 2, Fortea 1, Alarcon 0.

UE 66 – Escamis 16, Paranada K. 13, Pagsanjan 12, Catacutan 5, Lorenzana 5, Pascual 5, Guevarra 4, Tulabut 2, Sawat 2, Beltran 1, Cruz P. 1, Abatayo 0, Paranada N. 0, Cruz J. 0, Antiporda 0.

Quarters: 31-14, 50-32, 71-45, 81-66.

UP’s Joel Cagulangan pushing through a block by ADU. Photo by the UAAP Media Group.

On Tuesday, April 5, Adamson University’s Jerom Lastimosa’s three-point jump shot went short, failing to chip away UP’s 3-point lead at the end of the 4th quarter. Zavier Lucero continued his stellar play for UP with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Malick Diouf played his best game with 16 points and 15 rebounds with three steals.

The Scores:

UP 73 – Lucero 20, Diouf 16, Tamayo 11, Rivero 10, Cansino 9, Cagulangan 3, Spencer 2, Abadiano 2, Fortea 0, Alarcon 0, Catapusan 0.

Adamson 71 – Lastimosa 18, Douanga 16, Zaldivar 14, Colonia 4, Magbuhos 4, Manzano 4, Hanapi 3, Sabandal 3, Jaymalin 3, Yerro 2, Barasi 0, Erolon 0.

Quarterscores: 13-22, 39-39, 55-53, 73-71.

UP’s Maodo Diouf drives through the Green Archers’ defense. Photo by the UAAP Media Group.

UP’s match against the DLSU Green Archers was a nail-biter, with Zavier Lucero taking charge with 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead basket with 1:49 left. With the help of Joel Cagulangan, Lucero unleashed a 14-4 run to turn a 45-52 Fighting Maroons deficit to a 59-56 lead with 3:27 to go. The UP Fighting Maroons zoomed to 5-1, running their winning streak to four games while pulling the Green Archers down to 4-2 at the third spot.

The Scores:

UP 61 — Lucero 21, Tamayo 9, Cansino 9, Spencer 7, Diouf 7, Cagulangan 5, Fortea 3, Rivero 0, Alarcon 0, Abadiano 0.

LA SALLE 59 — Baltazar 13, Nelle 13, M. Phillips 9, Nonoy 9, Winston 7, Lojera 3, Galman 3, Nwankwo 2, Austria 0, B. Phillips 0, Cuajao 0.

Quarterscores: 17-17, 32-35, 43-48, 61-59.

The UP Fighting Maroons will be facing the Far Eastern University on Saturday, April 9, at 7:00 p.m.

Photos and reporting from the UAAP Media Group.