UP Fighting Maroons 71 – UST Growling Tigers 69
The UP Fighting Maroons started out the first round at the top of the standings at 3-1. Since then, they’ve lost three straight games and have fallen down the rankings. They started the second round on a better note as they survived a late run by the UST Growling Tigers to get back to .500.
UP, known for hot starts jumped out to an early 13-2 lead. But it was UST that took over in the latter part of the opening quarter to take a 17-15 lead into the second period. UP then went on a 13-2 run and took a nine-point lead. It was a lead they protected for most of the game. UST tried to overtake UP but Jan Jaboneta came alive in the third quarter to keep the Fighting Maroons ahead.
UP was still up by four in the dying seconds of the game when Jorem Soriano got into the heart of the defense and dished out to Marvin Lee for a three-pointer to cut the UP lead down to just one point. Jun Manzo was fouled in the following possession and he could only muster a split from the line. UST got the ball to Lee after the rebound. Lee drove the length of the court, launched a long three-pointer over two defenders that rimmed out. The Fighting Maroons survived that late rally to hold on to the win.
DLSU Green Archers 75 – FEU Tamaraws 73
After a bitter loss to their rivals to close out the first round, the La Salle Green Archers couldn’t wait to go up against the FEU Tamaraws. They were frothing at the mouth, ready to get a big statement win over FEU. Instead, they needed every bit of their championship poise to win a close one over the tough Tamaraws.
Every time La Salle would pull away, FEU had an answer to stick close to them. The Green Archers first tried to pull away in the second period when they built a 32-18 lead, courtesy of Ricci Rivero’s highlight plays. But FEU got back into the game as Ron Dennison and Barkley Ebona combined for 12 points in the second period. La Salle could only muster a four point lead heading into the half. In the third quarter, the Green Archers started strong again and built a double-digit lead, 50-38. But The Tamaraws chipped away at the lead to come within six points heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter, Hubert Cani stepped up his game as he repeatedly got into the lane and dished out to Ken Tuffin in the corners. FEU threatened to get back in the game but La Salle displayed their poise. Jolo Go hit two clutch baskets to keep the Green Archers ahead. Rivero hounded the FEU ball handlers and forced turnovers for stops. FEU had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but they botched their inbound play. La Salle weathered the FEU storm and got the win.