Defending champ UP survives La Salle, 72-69, as 85th UAAP Season gets underway Saturday

Defending champ UP survives La Salle, 72-69, as 85th UAAP Season gets underway Saturday

Tiebreaker Times photo courtesy

MANILA — Hotshot Carl Tamayo fired 18 big points as the University of the Philippines (UP) opened its title-retention bid in the 85th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament with a 72-69 win over De La Salle University on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Finals MVP and Mythical Team member last season, Tamayo also came up with 19 rebounds, two assists, and as many steals to secure the victory for the Diliman-based Fighting Maroons.

“Actually, I just felt our defense picked up, especially in the third quarter. Our defensive improvement was really huge,” said UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde.

Standing huge at 6-foot-7, Tamayo highlighted his superb performance with a jumper that gave UO a 68-64 lead with 1:17 remaining.

He also had two crucial free throws that cushioned Evan Nelle’s triple, 72-69, in the last four seconds of the action-packed game.

The Fighting Maroons’ victory over the Green Archers also flashed a sad memory back as they were also the same squad who booted out the latter in last season’s semifinals.

Aside from Tamayo, Terrence Fortea also contributed hugely to UP’s cause as he knocked in 15 points, nine assists, and five rebounds even as Malick Diouf posted nine points, 13 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals.

La Salle got 27 points from Schonny Winston on top of three steals, two rebounds, and two assists. Mike Phillips shone with 20 huge rebounds on top of eight points and four blocks.

In the second game, Nic Cabañero fired a career-best 33 points as the University of Santo Tomas (UST) pulled off a 69-60 opening day win over Adamson University.The Scores:

UP 72 — Tamayo 18, Fortea 15, Diouf 9, Spencer 8, Lucero 7, Gonzales 7, Alarcon 5, Ramos 3, Abadiano 0, Galinato 0, Torculas 0, Eusebio 0, Lina 0, Calimag 0.

LA SALLE 69 — Winston 27, Nelle 9, M. Phillips 8, Nonoy 8, Quiambao 5, Austria 4, Manuel 4, Nwankwo 2, Macalalag 2, B. Phillips 0.

Quarters: 16-17, 34-42, 50-54, 72-69.

UST 69 — Cabanero 33, Manaytay 7, Faye 6, Pangilinan 6, Mantes 5, Mantua 4, Calimag 3, Duremdes 2, Herrera 2, Manalang 1, Lazarte 0, Magdangal 0, Laure 0.

ADAMSON 60 — Douanga 13, Yerro 13, Lastimosa 10, Hanapi 10, Sabandal 9, V. Magbuhos 3, Barcelona 2, Colonia 0, Manzano 0, Flowers 0, Barasi 0, Torres 0, Manlapaz 0, Jaymalin 0.

Quarters: 23-18, 42-38, 48-42, 69-60. Niel Victor C. Masoy
(El Amigoi/mtvn)

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