UP Fighting Maroons take over UE Red Warriors in a winning streak

| Written by Stephanie Cabigao

For a group of alphas, there’s nowhere to go but to become a team of Fighting Maroons in a huddle before settling to another win against the UE Red Warriors. Photo by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


It’s a winning streak for the Fighting Maroons. The victory against UE is a break to the one-point lead cycle of wins for the UP Men’s Basketball Team. Fresh out of a win against the NU Bulldogs, the UP Men’s Basketball Team was back at it again, sweeping UE’s Red Warriors at the Ynares Center, Antipolo, Rizal on Saturday, September 21.


An easy start for the team at the first quarter of the game, Fighting Maroons earning an eight-point lead with 23 against 15. Photo by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


At the jump ball, manning the Fighting Maroons were Jun Manzo, Kobe Paras, Bright Akhuetie, Javier Gomez de Liaño and Jaydee Tungcab. It was an easy start for the team on the first quarter of the game with a dynamic rotation of players earning an eight-point lead with 23 against 15.


UP’s Kobe Paras powers up for a 2-point shot. Photo by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


The second quarter consisted of a heavy rotation of players for the Fighting Maroons. A highlight of this period was Paras’ power block. At 1:38 on the clock, UP led the quarter with 35 points ahead of UE’s 25 points.


Player of the game Bright Akhuetie charging for a 2-point shot. Photo by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


Akhuetie’s sure fire bucket points and free throws put up for UP to close the quarter in its biggest lead of the game by 12 points with 39 to 27.

In the third quarter, the 12-point lead of the Fighting Maroons was brought to a stagnating state. Meanwhile, the UE Red Warriors stepped up to compensate for the 12-point deficit. Picking up the momentum was the consistent triple shot play by Jojo Antiporda.  It was also Alex Diakhite’s layup that survived the team’s fate in the quarter. The Red Warriors came close with 42 points, only 4 points behind the Fighting Maroons’ 46 points.


In the game’s critical moment, Fighting Maroon Kobe Paras faces the crowd, encouraging the UP audience to lift the team’s spirit by cheering on as loud as they can. Photo by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


Maroon standout: an alumnus cheers on in clenched fist and a #UPFight placard. Photo by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


The closest lead of the game was in the final quarter with only 1:54 minutes remaining, 57 points for UP, one point ahead of UE’s 56 points. The clincher for the Fighting Maroons was the sure fire free throws early on in the last quarter, finalized by Jaydee Tungcab’s left corner 3-point shot, leaving the Red Warriors 6 points behind in a final score of 62-56.


Silent worker Jun Manzo’s great passes make good scoring for the Fighting Maroons such as the solid pass to Javi Gomez de Liaño for a 2-point shot. Video by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


Akhuetie prevailed with his best stats of 16 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. UP’s winning streak in a takeover against UE was also powered by Javi Gomez de Liaño 15, Paras 12, Rivero 7, Tungcab 4, Ju. Gomez de Liano 3, Manzo 3, Webb 2.

It was pointed out by Fighting Maroons Coach Bo Perasol during the post-game press conference that another factor of UP’s win was minimizing scoring opportunities for UE’s Rey Suerte. “Our intention was really to limit his output. We wanted to clamp down on Rey Suerte, but the others did step up,” said Perasol.


Clean pass, clean shot: Manzo’s killer pass to Akhuetie’s smooth 2-pointer. Video by Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO.


UP rises second (4-1) in the first round of standings. When asked about the preparation of the team against DLSU as they battle it out on Wednesday, September 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Perasol quickly answered back, “We all know the kind of personnel that they have. Susubukan naming mag-improve pa rin, from our previous games which is this game. And I hope that we can be better to make sure that we can have the chance against a powerhouse team like La Salle.”