UP Fighting Maroons 106 – NU Bulldogs 81
With their Final Four lives on the line, Paul Desiderio played like a man possessed. UP’s superstar wing exploded for 30 points in just three quarters to tow the UP Fighting Maroons past the NU Bulldogs.
Just like they did in their last game against the Blue Eagles, the Fighting Maroons jumped out to a hot start. They exploded for 34 first quarter points with Desiderio leading the way. He dropped 11 points in that opening spurt. The De Liano brothers supported Desiderio with seven points each as UP pulled away with a double-digit lead. The difference this time is that the Fighting Maroons didn’t let up. Desiderio continued to fire away in the second and third quarters. He scored 19 points in the succeeding quarter as he was hitting outside shots and dominating his defender inside. UP took the fight away from NU as they built a double-digit lead and held on to the win.
In order to get a Final Four seat, the Fighting Maroons needed to win their game against NU and hope for an FEU loss against the Adamson.
FEU Tamaraws 71 – AdU Soaring Falcons 54
The FEU Tamaraws opted for the easier route to the Final Four. They took care of business against the Adamson Falcons and avoided a possible playoff with the UP Fighting Maroons who won earlier in the day.
FEU played with more urgency as this game meant a deal more to them. The Falcons were playing a no-bearing game as they’re locked into the third seed of the Final Four. Arvin Tolentino, Richard Escoto and Prince Orizu dominated the paint as FEU played steady, consistent basketball throughout the game. FEU built an eight point lead in the third quarter against the Falcons who were playing without Jerrick Ahanmisi. The Falcons were able to cut the lead to just four points early in the fourth period, but lead guard Jerie Pingoy left the game due to an ankle injury. FEU took over at that point as Orizu and Wendell Comboy led the Tamaraws to a 19-8 run to close the game.
The Tamaraws close out the Final Four cast with a solid performance against the Falcons. They now have momentum heading into their match-up against the top-seeded Ateneo Blue Eagles.