UAAP: Ricci Rivero shines in fourth quarter as UP downs NU
MANILA, Philippines — Ricci Rivero matched his season-high 19 points and delivered the crucial baskets in the fourth quarter as University of the Philippines edged a gritty National University side, 80-70, for its second straight win in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Rivero scored seven of his 19 points to ignite UP’s 11-0 run capped by his breakaway lay-up off a steal to build a 66-53 lead with 6:55 mark of the final period.
However, the Bulldogs refused to go down without a fight as Reyland Torres sparked an 8-1 run to cut the lead down to 69-63 but Lucero’s layup and CJ Cansino’s corner triple restored order for the Fighting Maroons for a 74-63 breather with 3:11 remaining.
UP sealed its 2-1 record for the solo third place after Rivero and Joel Cagulangan scored four straight free throws, followed by Carl Tamayo’s reverse lay-up.
“For me, we’ve seen many lapses and we’re still struggling. We stuck to the system and I’ve been just very vocal to remind them to stick with the system,” said Rivero, who also had four assists, three rebounds, two steals and a block.
Tamayo, a Nazareth School standout, was held to 5-of-12 shooting but he finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Cagulangan sustained his fine play with nine points, eight boards, and six assists.
“I think with this third game, we need to correct our slow start. But we were able to pick up through the course of the game. This is something we need to take a look at,” said UP coach Goldwin Monteverde.
NU dropped its second straight game, sliding to 1-2.
Mike Malonzo led the charge for the Bulldogs with 11 points and five rebounds, while Torres chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and four steals in the loss.
UP 80 — Rivero 19, Tamayo 13, Cagulangan 9, Fortea 8, Cansino 8, Spencer 6, Lucero 5, Diouf 4, Alarcon 4, Catapusan 2, Abadiano 2, Ramos 0, Lina 0.
NU 70 — Malonzo 11, Torres 10, Clemente 9, Mahinay 9, Felicilda 8, Ildefonso 7, Enriquez 4, Galinato 4, Tibayan 4, Joson 2, Manansala 2, Figueroa 0, Minerva 0, Yu 0.
Quarters: 20-25, 42-39, 55-53, 80-70.