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UP flattens UST

Definitely, in our last game today we really improved a lot on how we started the game.

University of the Philippines head coach Goldwin Monteverde fielded all available players on his bench.

All but one lit up the scoreboard.

The repeat-seeking Fighting Maroons wrapped up their first round on top with a 76–51 rout of the skidding University of Santo Tomas as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament visited the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo yesterday.

Monteverde for most of UP’s campaign has been concerned with his team’s consistency but against the Tigers, the Fighting Maroons never lifted their foot off the pedal for a convincing win that hiked their win-loss record to 6-1 for the solo lead.

“Definitely, in our last game today we really improved a lot on how we started the game. I think we just have to work on our consistency,” Monteverde said.

“I thought we need to be more organized as a team, especially, I think in the middle of the second quarter,” he added.

When Nic Cabanero tried to rally the Tigers back from a 21-point deficit heading into the payoff period to just 11 points halfway into the period, the Diliman-based squad, behind veterans Carl Tamayo and Zavier Lucero, calmly answered with 13 straight points to bring order back for UP.

Terrence Fortea had 14 points, three assists and three steals to lead the Fighting Maroons.

“We just showed today that we really wanted to win and end the first round on a high note,” Fortea said after once again stepping up to fill in the guard role in the absence of JD Cagulangan.

Lucero had an efficient shooting day with 12 points on 4-of-5 field goals, making all of his three attempts from the outside, and added five rebounds, five steals, four assists and three blocks for UP.

Tamayo, who played for only nine and a half minutes, and Gerry Abadiano had nine markers each for the Fighting Maroons, who opened a 28-point gap in the third quarter.

UP entered the fourth quarter with a comfortable, 58-37, lead only to see UST make a run to trim down their deficit behind Cabanero. The sniper put the Tigers within 11 after swishing in a triple, 49-60, with 5:55 left in the period.

UST absorbed its sixth straight defeat after the Tigers opened their season with a win.

The Scores:

UP (76) — Fortea 14, Lucero 12, Abadiano 9, Tamayo 9, Andrews 7, Alarcon 5, Diouf 4, Spencer 3, Ramos 3, Eusebio 3, Lina 2, Calimag 2, Galinato 2, Gonzales 1, Torculas 0.

UST (51) — Faye 15, Cabanero 14, Lazarte 5, Calimag 5, Duremdes 3, Mantua 3, Manalang 2, Magdangal 2, Escobido 2, Pangilinan 0, Manaytay 0, Garing 0, Herrera 0, Gesalem 0.

Quarters: 19-8, 38-24, 58-37, 76-51.

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