UP fights back, stuns Adamson in overtime
MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines fought back from seven points down in the extra period to stun Adamson, 83-82, Sunday night for its second win in UAAP Season 82 at Mall of Asia Arena.
In a rematch of their Final Four meeting last season, reigning Most Valuable Player Bright Akhuetie made two pressure-packed free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining off Lenda Douanga’s fifth and last foul as the Fighting Maroons completed their improbable comeback against an Adamson team that fell into a maze of turnovers down the stretch.
“I would like to give honor to my players for not giving up,” said UP coach Bo Perasol.
Jerom Lastimosa had one more opportunity to win the game in overtime after missing a half court heave in regulation, but his corner triple was well-defended by Ricci Rivero, allowing the Maroons to escape with a narrow win in front of more than 12,000 fans.
Kobe Paras scattered 20 points and grabbed six rebounds as he played 41 minutes in his highly-anticipated debut for the Maroons.
Akhuetie finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds, while Juan Gomez De Liano, who spearheaded the UP comeback in the third period together with Noah Webb, chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Javi Gomez de Liano sent the game to overtime at 73-all with a triple off a Paras assist with 17 seconds remaining.
The Falcons broke out of the gates hard in overtime with rookie AP Manlapaz scoring five straight points, before Paras was whistled for goaltending on Lastimosa’s lay-up that pushed the advantage to 82-75 with 2:22 remaining.
That proved to be the Falcons’ last stand as Paras and Jun Manzo hit key baskets off Adamson turnovers to pull within, 81-82, with 34.8 seconds remaining. A wild sequence ended with Akhuetie fouled by Douanga, leading to the game-winning free throws.
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