|UP's Jun Manzo backed Jan Jaboneta as the Fighting Maroons kept UP winless.|
QUEZON CITY -- UP nearly blew an 11 point lead in the final period but did just enough to keep UST winless, escaping with a 71-69 nail-biter to open the men's basketball second round of UAAP Season 80 Wednesday afternoon at the Big Dome.
The Growling Tigers' free fall continued with their eight straight loss, as the Fighting Maroons go back at .500, snapping their three-game losing run in the process.
Jan Jaboneta stepped up for coach Bo Perasol as he played a perfect game with 12 points, all of them came from a clean 4/4 from downtown for a season sweep for State U over UST.
Marvin Lee fired a game-high 17 but missed the game-winning trey to condemned them to their eight
Both teams came out smoking in the opening frame as both UP and UST trade runs as they seek to end the slump.
UP opened the game with a 13-2 run, but the Tigers came back to reply with a 15-2 sprint to take the lead at the first quarter buzzer courtesy of Marvin Lee's tough layup.
However, the Fighting Maroons dictated matters in the second period, causing UST to turn the ball over 13 times resulting into 13 points off turnovers to take a 40-32 lead at the half.
UP then kept UST at bay at the third to lead by six at the end of it.
But the Tigers of Boy Sablan came back and never gave up, pulling in a 7-2 reply in the final two minutes to pull within 1, 70-69 with 11 seconds left.
UST had golden opportunity to get their first win as Jun Manzo splits his charities, but Lee's last second heave agonizingly clanked the rim as the buzzer sounded to doom the Tigers once again.
UP 71 -- Jaboneta 12, Manzo 11, Desiderio 10, Ju. Gomez de Liano 9, Ouattara 9, Lin 6, Vito 6, Ja. Gomez de Liano 4, Romero 2, Prado 2, Ricafort 0, Lao 0, Dario 0
UST 69 -- Lee 17, Soriano 14, Sta. Ana 13, Akomo 7, Basibas 5, Macasaet 5, Romero 4, Huang 2, Faundo 2, De Guzman 0, Caunan 0, Kwawukumey 0, Garcia 0
Quarter scores: 15-17, 40-32,, 61-55, 71-69
Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada