Akhuetie's game-winner vs Adamson keeps UP's semis bid alive

Akhuetie's game-winner vs Adamson keeps UP's semis bid alive

Cris Santos (Philstar.com) - November 24, 2018 - 6:28pm

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines pulled off a thrilling 73-71 win over No. 2 seed Adamson in their Final Four match to stay alive in the 81st UAAP men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Bright Akhuetie, who was silent majority of the game, came through with the game-winner, converting an undergoal stab off an inbound pass from Juan Gomez de Liano to shatter the 71-all deadlock with 2.6 seconds remaining.

Jonathan Espeleta’s desperation heave was too shot, allowing the Fighting Maroons to escape with the victory and force another do-or-die game on Wednesday.
“Winning against Adamson is not easy. My guys just made the plays when it mattered most,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol, who 19 points apiece from Gomez de Liano and Paul Desiderio.

“Juan made great pass to Bright, Paul made that jump shot when we needed and Juan again made those two crucial free throws. Everybody just contributed,” Perasol added.

The graduating Desiderio exploded in the second half, allowing UP to erect its biggest lead at 13 points, 54-41, late in the third period.

But the No. 2 seed Soaring Falcons won’t just quit and even reclaimed the lead at 69-65 on Sean Manganti’s back-to-back baskets with 2:19 remaining.

The Fighting Maroons kept their composure and unloaded a crucial 6-0 run capped by Desiderio’s step-back jumper to get the lead back at 71-69, 5.5 ticks left.

Manganti knotted the score anew with free throws off Janjan Jaboneta foul, 71-all, 3.7 seconds remaining then Akhuetie, who had only six points in the game, delivered the biggest shot for UP to extend their season.

Papi Sarr led the Soaring Falcons with 23 points while Manganti added 15. Jerrick Ahanmisi was held down to just nine markers on 2-of-12 shooting from the field.

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