ANTIPOLO, Philippines – The University of the Philippines Maroons just secured themselves a Final Four stint after surviving a scare off La Salle Green Archers in the 82nd UAAp Men’s Basketball tournament.
And fight they did.
The Fighting Maroons weathered a late uprising by the Green Archers who came to within striking distance 62-66 late in the second half.
But it was all the Archers can get as the Fighting Maroons stood their ground en route to closing out the elimination round with an impressive 9-13 win-loss card.
Kobe Paras had 10 points including his go-ahead slam in the clutch that gave the Fighting Maroons the lead, 70-68, with 54 seconds remaining.
Akhuetie finished with a 17-point on top of 10 rebounds while Ricci Rivero also had a solid game with 12 points and five rebounds.
Jamie Malonzo carried the Green Archers with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Aljun Melecio finished with 12 points, eight boards, and three assists in their tough loss that eliminated them from their Final Four hopes.
UP closes its elimination campaign against the unbeaten Ateneo on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena where the Maroons will try to stop the Blue Eagles to jump straight to the finals with 14-0 sweep of the elimination round. (Lloyd Tagbago/IAMIGO/CNS)