Key wins for UP, Adamson
University of the Philippines and the Adamson U bolstered their quarterfinal bids with hard-fought victories Saturday in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup held at the tournament’s namesake gym.
The Maroons held off a late charge by the Centro Escolar University Scorpions to forge a 68-62 victory while Adamson held off tough Letran, 89-85.
Will Gozum and Bright Akhuetie gave UP control of the match until CEU’s Maodo Diouf his a basket that capped a run that had the Scorpions within 63-62, 1:20 remaining.
But James Spencer knocked down a huge triple with 25 seconds remaining to give UP a 66-62 lead en route to the win.
“Sometimes you have mixed feelings about these games,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol, whose wards upped their record to 3-2 in Group A and kept themselves in the hunt for a quarterfinals berth. “You don’t want it to be close, but sometimes, you develop character especially with the guys we have right now. They find a way to win with the changing complexion of the game.”
Jun Manzo led UP with 17 points and six assists while Akhuetie added 13 and seven rebounds. Spencer chipped in 11 points and nine boards.
CEU dropped to 2-2 and was led by Diouf’s 28 points.
Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren lamented his team’s miscues that allowed Letran a chance to mount several comebacks.
“This game showed that we need a lot of work,” said Pumaren, who watched the Knights chew off several double-digit spreads by the Falcons. “There were several instances where we could break the game [but we did not] and this is a sign that we are a very young team.”
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