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Dario hits game-winner as UP sends EAC back to earth

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Diego Dario hit the go-ahead basket as UP stays unbeaten in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup with a 61-59 win against EAC at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Wednesday.

Dario hit a triple with only seven seconds left as the Fighting Maroons preserved their strong finish over the Generals.

UP found itself on the wrong side of a potential EAC upset early on, trailing 6-19 after the first quarter.

The Maroons, however, limited the Generals to only 10 points in each of the next two frames and crawled back to take a 41-39 lead entering the fourth.

The game would become tight in the payoff period, and it boiled down to the final minute where Noah Webb got a piece of Jerome Garcia's shot that eventually set up a Jun Manzo basket to put UP ahead, 58-55, with 24 seconds left.

EAC would then score four straight points through quick baskets by Francis Munsayac and Juju Bautista to retake the lead, 59-58.

But a wild sequence during the inbound made Dario free to take a running trey that went in to give the Maroons the lead back.

Munsayac had one more chance to keep the Generals in the game, but his potential equalizer rimmed out as time expired.

Dario finished with 14 points to backstop Paul Desiderio's 18 for UP, which moved up to 3-0. Dario made four three-pointers overall.

Garcia and Munsayac each chipped in 11 markers for EAC, which was sent back to reality following a huge upset of Adamson in its last game.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno