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UP prevails anew in tight contest, pips FEU for 8th straight win

Ricci Rivero's impressive game was just enough for the Fighting Maroons to escape the Tamaraws. UAAP Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The University of the Philippines rode on what would be Ricci Rivero's best game so far to escape yet another close game, edging Far Eastern University, 73-70, in the resumption of the UAAP men's basketball games on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Rivero, who struggled in the first round of the eliminations, continued with his progress this season as he fired 19 points with five rebounds and two assists to lead the Fighting Maroons in a game where Zav Lucero's currently among the frontrunners for Most Valuable Player, struggled.

Despite a rare off-day for him, Lucero, which only made seven markers, actually won it for UP as he drained the go-ahead basket with 1:27 left that broke a 70-all tie.

The team, however, could not close it out on its own as it missed crucial free throws, including two from Harold Alarcon with 5.9 seconds left that could have iced the game already there.

Luckily for them, RJ Abarrientos badly missed a heavily-contested three-pointer as time ran out on FEU's chances to force overtime.

Carl Tamayo added 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, and three blocks for the Fighting Maroons, who have now won eight straight games after their season opening loss to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Emman Ojuola tallied 16 markers, 14 boards, two blocks, and three steals for the Tamaraws, who momentarily dropped to sixth place at 3-6 following their third straight loss.

The Scores:

UP 73 -- Rivero 19, Tamayo 14, Cansino 12, Alarcon 8, Lucero 7, Diouf 7, Cagulangan 3, Fortea 3, Webb 0, Abadiano 0, Spencer 0, Calimag 0, Catapusan 0.

FEU 70 -- Ojuola 16, Abarrientos 13, Gonzales 13, Torres 9, Sandagon 6, Tempra 5, Alforque 3, Bienes 3, Li 2, Coquia 0, Sajonia 0.

Quarters: 16-17, 34-37, 57-54, 73-70.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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