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UP-QRS-JAM bucks Wang's Q2 blitz to stay in twice-to-beat race


By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--UP has been instrumental in restoring democracy as many students and even faculty members stood up against the Marcos administration especially during the first People Power Revolution.

But right on the 30th anniversary of the said monumental event, the core of the school's men's basketball team, together with some friends, had to withstand a surprise uprising of a slumping opponent.

UP-QRS-JAM recovered from Wang's resurgence early in the second quarter and pulled away for an 80-69 victory in a PBA D-League Aspirants Cup clash at the Ynares Sports Arena on Thursday.

The Couriers, who are tied at the cellar entering gameday, appeared to be heading to an upset against the Fighting Maroons as they stayed on track in the first quarter and opened the second on a 9-1 run to take a 25-17 lead.

UP responded with a 10-0 run to go up, 27-25, and after an exchange of baskets would extend it to eight, 39-31, later in the period.

The Couriers then went on an 8-1 rally to cut the lead to just one, 44-43, in the third quarter, but the Maroons responded with a 16-4 blast to stretch it to 13 and held on until the end of the game.

Raul Soyud showed might by tallying 21 points, ten rebounds, and three blocks for UP-QRS-JAM, which clinched a quarterfinal seat and boosted its slim bid for a twice-to-beat advantage with its fourth win against three losses with one game left in its elimination round schedule.

Raymond Aguilar added 16 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, and one block.

Diego Dario, whose explosion on Tuesday against Caida went for naught, was held scoreless in barely six minutes of play as only seven players scored for UP-QRS-JAM.

The Maroons are now a half-game behind the Tanduay Rhum Masters, who are playing the BDO-NU Bulldogs later Thursday, for fourth place.

James Mangahas tallied 17 markers and six rebounds for the Couriers, who further slipped to 1-6 and found themselves in danger of becoming the lone team that will be eliminated from the competition.

Box Scores:

UP-QRS-JAM 80-Soyud 21, Aguilar 16, Alolino 13, Baloria 10, Ferrer 10, Lim 8, Sorela 2, Batino 0, Dario 0, Neypes 0

Wang's 69-Mangahas 17, Capacio 14, Bautista 10, Ilad 7, Ragasa 7, Jo. Montemayor 4, Publico 4, Acosta 2, Romero 2, Tayongtong 2, Cabahug 0, Tumalip 0

Quarterscores: 16-16, 39-33, 62-52, 80-69

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno