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Maroons make Bulldogs cry

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UAAP Francis Lopez leads the way for University of the Philippines in its 79-57 victory over National University in their UAAP basketball game Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The University of the Philippines solidified its lofty spot in the leaderboard after a 79-57 demolition of National University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena yesterday.

With the Fighting Maroons ending the elimination round with a 12-2 win-loss record, they are now waiting for the winner between Adamson University and defending champion Ateneo de Manila University in the playoff for fourth place on Wednesday to determine their opponent in the Final Four.

Sean Torculas’ triple with four minutes and 27 seconds in the first quarter capped a 17-2 run for UP as the Maroons led from start to finish.

Mark Belmonte’s triple with 4:03 left in the fourth quarter gave UP its biggest lead of the game at 25 points.

Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde praised how his players remained focused.

“Preparing for this game, we know how tough NU is. We really needed to prepare our defense and from the start, while there were times that we were challenged, we played well as a team,” Monteverde said.

Francis Lopez led the way for UP with 13 points while reigning Most Valuable Player Malick Diouf and CJ Cansino fired 11 points each.

Jake Figeroua’s double-double effort of 15 points and 10 rebounds wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs fell to a 10-4 record and good for third in the leaderboard.

NU will face second seed De La Salle University, which ended the elimination round with an 11-3 record, in their Final Four match on a date yet to be announced.

In the first game, Matthew Montebon sank a clutch triple to keep Adamson University in the race for the last Final Four spot with a 63-61 win over the University of the East.


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