The UP Fighting Maroons failed to snatch a win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the elimination rounds of UAAP Season 82’s men’s basketball tournament. The score was 86-64 in favor of Ateneo in the last game of the second round on October 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Despite the loss, UP had already secured the number two spot with a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals by winning against De La Salle University in its previous outing.
UP led at the end of the first quarter, 21-20. It started out as a back-and-forth of field goals between the Maroons and Eagles, with a pair of twos and a couple of threes from UP, and four twos and a trey from Ateneo. After 6.63 minutes of play, Blue only had a point over Maroon, 11-10. But UP had already incurred four fouls against Ateneo’s one.
While UP continued sinking baskets from the field, adding nine points plus two from charities, it also raked in more fouls in the last 3.37 minutes. Ateneo sank all of its nine from the line, which made up the rest of its 20 points for the quarter.
The Blue Eagles stretched their lead to 13 at the end of the first half, 45-32, courtesy of 4-0, 7-0, and 12-0 runs, punctuated by a two with 27 seconds remaining. The Fighting Maroons’ 11 points in the second quarter were from Janjan Jaboneta’s basket and two free throws, David Murrell’s save in the paint, Kobe Paras’s three from Jun Manzo’s long inbound pass, and Bright Akhuetie’s inside bucket at 0:39.0 on the quarter clock.
Ateneo started the second half again keeping UP at bay, adding 20 points and limiting the Maroons to 12. Of those UP points, six were courtesy of Akhuetie’s two field goals and two free throws, a basket and charity by Paras, and Juan Gomez de Liaño’s trey. The third quarter ended with the Blue Eagles up by 23, 65-44.
The Fighting Maroons got their first-quarter-field-goal-making groove back in the last quarter, this time sending only one Blue Eagle to the line. Albeit late in the game, UP’s fourth quarter hustle went toe-to-toe with Ateneo’s, banking 20 Maroon points against 21 Blue points. UP made eight two-pointers while Ateneo made seven, plus two triples. Ateneo also sent UP on six trips to the stripe for two technical fouls, a three-point play, and three regular fouls. The Maroons banked four of nine. It was not enough, however, to make up for their mid-game slump from the second to the third quarters.
UP will face UST in the semifinals on Sunday, November 10, 4:00pm, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Watch the game’s highlights here:
Video by KIM Quilinguing, UP Media and Public Relations Office