UP dumps NU in last elims game, but Final 4 status still in limbo
University of the Philippines ended its elimination round campaign in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament with a 106-81 dumping of National University Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But at 6-8, the Fighting Maroons would have to wait for the result of the game between Adamson and Far Eastern University to see if they can get a playoff game for the fourth seed.
“I was telling them at the beginning that we need these kinds of games, the ball is not in our hands anymore but at least we gave ourselves a chance for a playoff,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol.
UP established dominance between the third and fourth quarters, mounting a 19-6 run capped off with a breakaway dunk from rookie Juan Gomez de Liaño early in the final period to go up 86-63.
NU tried to get back into the game with a 9-0 spurt that cut the deficit to 16, 88-72, but Javi Gomez de Liaño scored on back-to-back layups to help UP regain momentum and a 94-78 lead 2:32 left in the game.
“I’m really proud with how they responded to the challenge, this is a game we can reckon for years to come,” said Perasol.
In the event of an FEU victory, though, UP will be eliminated from the Final Four and the Fighting Maroons would bid farewell to seniors Andrew Harris, Paolo Romero, Rob Ricafort, and Ibrahim Quattara.
Paul Desiderio led all scorers with 30 points, tying his career-high, with seven rebounds for UP while Juan added 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Javi also had a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards while Quattara finished with 12 points and 13 boards, 10 coming off the offensive glass.
Issa Gaye had 25 points and 10 boards to lead NU while the graduating J-Jay Alejandro had 16 points and eight assists.
UP 106 – Desiderio 30, Gomez de Liano Ju 22, Gomez de Liano Ja 17, Manzo 14, Ouattara 12, Webb 3, Lim 2, Harris 2, Ricafort 2, Romero 2, Prado 0, Jaboneta 0
NU 81 – Gaye 25, Alejandro 16, Joson 7, Salem 7, Tibayan 7, Mosqueda 4, Bartlett 4, Diputado 3, Cauilan 3, Aquino 3, Morido 2, Yu 0, Abatayo 0, Lastimosa 0, Flores 0, Rangel 0
Quarters: 34-21, 58-45, 84-60, 106-81
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