UP closes in on Final Four spot as FEU, La Salle stay alive

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Kobe Paras scored 19 points and issued six assists as University of the Philippines weathered a late rally by National University en route to an 80-77 win on Wednesday, October 23, in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

Bright Akhuetie added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jun Manzo recorded 14 points and Juan Gomez de Liano tallied 11 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists as the Fighting Maroons (8-4) secured at least a playoff for a spot in the semifinal.

“I’m glad we’re able to get this 8th win,” UP coach Bo Perasol after the victory.

The Bulldogs got 24 points, six rebounds and six dimes from Dave Ildefonso and 20 points from JV Gallego but their efforts went for naught as they dropped to 2-10.

The Fighting Maroons failed to automatically clinch a Final Four slot after Far Eastern University and La Salle both defeated respective rivals to keep their semifinal hopes alive.

A loss by either the Tamaraws or the Green Archers would put the Fighting Maroons to the Final Four for the second straight year.

In the second game, the Tamaraws banked on their balanced scoring to beat Adamson University, 63-60.

Ino Comboy, LJ Gonzales, and Ken Tuffin scored 11 points apiece to help the Tamaraws improve to 7-6 and formally eliminate the Falcons (4-8) from semifinal contention.

Jerrick Ahanmisi and Aaron Fermin each scored 10 points while Douanga tallied a double-double with 10 points and 22 boards.

In the nightcap, the Green Archers escaped with an 80-79 win over University of Sto. Tomas to improve their record to 6-6 and keep their bleak semifinal hopes alive.

The Growling Tigers dropped to a share of third with the Tamaraws.

The scores:

First game:

UP 80 — Paras 19, Akhuetie 16, Manzo 14, Ju. Gomez de Liano 11, Rivero 8, Webb 5, Ja. Gomez de Liano 4, Prado 3, Gozum 0, Jaboneta 0, Murrell 0, Tungcab 0.

NU 77 — D. Ildefonso 24, Gallego 20, Oczon 12, S. Ildefonso 10, Gaye 6, Joson 2, Minerva 2, Galinato 1, Clemente 0, Diputado 0, Malonzo 0, Mangayao 0, Rangel 0, Yu 0.

Quarter scores: 13-11, 32-25, 56-51, 80-77

Second game:

FEU 63 — Comboy 11, Gonzales 11, Tuffin 11, Bienes 6, Stockton 6, Nunag 5, Ebona 4, Tchuente 4, Torres 3, Alforque 2, Cani 0.

ADAMSON 60 — Ahanmisi 10, Douanga 10, Fermin 10, Lastimosa 9, Camacho 6, Manlapaz 5, Sabandal 4, Mojica 3, Yerro 2, Chauca 1, Bernardo 0, Magbuhos 0.

Quarter scores: 22-12, 43-31, 50-41, 63-60 (GA/IAMIGO/CNS)

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