Filoil: James Spencer delivers, undermanned UP edges CEU
MANILA, Philippines—James Spencer came up big in the clutch as shorthanded University of the Philippines clipped Centro Escolar University, 68-62, in the group stage of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup Saturday in the tournament’s namesake arena in San Juan.
The Fighting Maroons held a slim 63-62 lead with less than a minute remaining when Spencer decided to take it upon himself to give his team some breathing room with a three-pointer from the right wing for a 66-62 cushion with 25.1 seconds left.
Spencer, who finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, then, iced the game from the free throw line with 12 ticks to go.
“The usual guys are not here and it’s important for these players to acquire this experience,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol. “James has been playing well in the past few games and it’s important he keeps in mind his goal to be consistent all the time.”
“It’s his sophomore year and I’m quite sure he’ll be a lot better with how he is right now with the kind of character he has.”
The Fighting Maroons played without Juan Gomez De Liaño, who is suffering from back spasms while Ricci Rivero is in the Fiba 3×3 Asia Cup.
Jun Manzo led UP’s offense with 17 points, six assists, and three steals while UAAP Season 81 MVP Bright Akhuetie had 13 points and seven boards.
The Fighting Maroons improved to a 3-2 record in Group A while the Scorpions are at an even 2-2.
Maodo Diouf had 28 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks for CEU.
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