By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Harold Alarcon came up with timely baskets as the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons scored a 65-60 victory over the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night, October 29.
After seeing their 54-42 lead turned to a 54-all score by a furious Ateneo run in the fourth quarter, Alarcon and Gerry Abadiano drilled back-to-back baskets to give UP a 59-54 advantage.
The Bacolod City-native Alarcon then converted a jumper from the free throw area to make it a six-point game for the Fighting Maroons before Mason Amos cut the deficit to 60-63 for the Blue Eagles.
Abadiano then connected for two freebies to seal the win for UP.
Alarcon, formerly of the Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts, finished the game with 10 points as the Fighting Maroons remained on top of the standings with an 8-1 win-loss slate.
The Iloilo City-native Abadiano top-scored for UP with 22 points, including three three-point conversions. Maodo Malick Diouf chipped in a double-double of 10 points and 17 rebounds, while Francis Lopez also contributed 10 markers for the Fighting Maroons.
The victory of the Fighting Maroons served as a bounce back for them after being beaten by the Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 85 finals and in the first round of eliminations a week ago.
“Siguro, it took a while din na makuha namin ‘yung rhythm offensively,” UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde said.
“We were a little bit in a hurry nung first quarter lalo na … pero [ang] maganda dito, ‘yung defense namin, it held up Ateneo and nung huli, we were more patient offensively,” he added.
Jared Brown led the Blue Eagles in scoring with 18 points built on four triples. Joseph Obasa added 11 points to go with 16 rebounds and four blocks, while Mason Amos contributed 10 as they dropped to 4-5.
Meanwhile, the Adamson University Falcons (4-5) drew inspiration from injured star guard Jerom Lastimosa as they prevailed over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws (3-6), 63-54, to snap their three-game losing skid.
Joshua Yerro spearheaded the offense for the Falcons with 11 points, all of which came in the first half, while Joem Sabandal and Jhon Calisay added 10 and nine markers, respectively.
UP 65 — Abadiano 22, Alarcon 10, Diouf 10, Lopez 10, Fortea 7, Felicilda 4, Torculas 2, Alter 0, Belmonte 0, Torres 0.
ATENEO 60 — Brown 18, Obasa 11, Amos 10, Quitevis 8, Ballungay 7, Credo 3, Espinosa 2, Chiu 1, Koon 0, Gomez 0, Tuano 0, Nieto 0, Lazaro 0, Celis 0.
Quarterscores: 11-11, 32-30, 49-39, 65-60./ASC, WDJ