They were down by 12 twice in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. And then it happened. That re-energized Fighting Maroon spirit emerged, eager to bounce back from a previous game’s defeat. That hunger for victory powerfully played out in a 21-5 run in the last seven minutes of the game.

UP Men’s Basketball Team returned to the court with consistent offensive play and better defense. It was a redemption game for the Fighting Maroons, as well as a return of the momentum especially to Jun Manzo and Ricci Rivero, as they overcame the University of the East’s (UE) Red Warriors in a 3-point lead victory coming from a two-time loss.

UP rises second (4-1) in the first round of standings. When asked about the preparation of the team against DLSU today at the Mall of Asia Arena, Coach Perasol answered, “Susubukan naming mag-improve pa rin from our previous games. And I hope that we can be better to make sure that we can have the chance against a powerhouse team like La Salle.”

It was a nail-biter reminiscent of last season’s finals bid: the UP Fighting Maroons head to head with the Adamson University Soaring Falcons. Last year’s semifinals saw UP snatching the finals spot away from Adamson, knocking away its twice-to-beat advantage in what was arguably the two most exciting games of Season 81 of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament.