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Fighting Maroons outlast Tigers behind Deisderio Triple

Paul Desiderio of UP nails a clutch three pointer with less than three seconds to go to snatch the victory from UST. Dennis Jerome Acosta/Dugout Philippines

By Dennis Jerome Acosta

Pasay City- In a nail biter of a game which saw four deadlocks and eleven lead changes, none was bigger than with five seconds to go for the UP Fighting Maroons.

Following Marvin Lee's conversion of two free throws off a Chris Vito foul to break the fourth deadlock of the game, 73-71, Desiderio converted a clutch three pointer with 1.4 seconds to go to snatch the victory from UST to the delight of the Diliman Gallery within the Mall of Asia Arena.

UST started the game hot, erecting a lead as high as 9 points, only for UP to come back and erase it after UST's prized center Steve Akomo got subbed out of the game late in the first.

UP then capitalized on seven turnovers by the Tigers to erect a sizable lead of their own by the end of the half.

From this point it became a see-saw affair with no team being able to assert their dominance over the other team and the scores remaining tight throughout.

Desiderio, who also is the player of the game , tallied a total of 17 points and 9 rebounds for UP, Lee on the other hand, paced UST with 20 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.

Akomo in his debut, after nearly not being able to suit up for UST, did not disappoint, bagging a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds before fouling out while his counterpart Ibrahim Quattara had a lackluster debt only tallying 4 points and 8 rebounds for UP before fouling out.

UP goes up to 1-0 and will next face Ateneo on September 13, 4PM at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

UST on the other hand goes down to 0-1 and will next face Adamson on Saturday September 16, 4PM at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Box Scores:

UP 74 — Desiderio 17, Vito 9, Webb 7, Ju. Gomez De Liano 7, Manzo 6, Ja. Gomez De Liano 6, Ouattara 4, Lim 4, Prado 4, Dario 4, Lao 4, Romero 2, Harris 0.

UST 73 — Lee 20, Akomo 15, Sta. Ana 11, Soriano 8, Huang 6, Garcia 5, Faundo 4, Arana 2, De Guzman 2, Basibas 0, Caunan 0, Kwawukuwmey 0, Macasaet 0, Romero 0.

Quarterscores: 18-19; 42-33; 57-57; 74-73.

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