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UP surges late to edge La Salle for solo 2nd

Zav Lucero helped spark a huge fourth-quarter run by the Fighting Maroons. UAAP Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--The University of the Philippines got its offensive bearing back just in time as it pipped La Salle, 61-59, in the first game of the UAAP's Thursday quadruple-header at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The result actually broke the tie between the two sides as the Fighting Maroons, despite an error-prone performance, moved up to solo second spot at 5-1 and dropped the Green Archers to third at 4-2.

La Salle turned to its patented Pumaren style of defense and was on the verge of breaking away after holding UP to just one field goal in a six-minute span in the third and the fourth quarter while taking a 52-45 lead early in the fourth.

The Maroons, however, unleashed a 14-4 run midway through the fourth to take a 59-56 advantage with 3:27 to play.

The game remained tight the rest of the way, but UP escaped after La Salle's Michael Phillips missed a buzzer-beating layup that could have forced overtime.

Zav Lucero powered the Fighting Maroons' fifth straight win with 21 points highlighted by a two-handed dunk and a clutch triple that highlighted their game-turning rally.

He too had 14 rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block.

Carl Tamayo and CJ Cansino each added nine points.

Balti Baltazar and Evan Nelle each put up 13 markers for the Archers.

The scores:

UP (61) -- Lucero 21, Tamayo 9, Cansino 9, Spencer 7, Diouf 7, Cagulangan 5, Fortea 3, Rivero 0, Alarcon 0, Abadiano 0.

DLSU (59) -- Baltazar 13, Nelle 13, Phillips M. 9, Nonoy 9, Winston 7, Nojera 3, Galman 3, Nwankwo 2, Austria 0, Phillips B. 0, Cuajao 0.

Quarterscores: 17-17, 32-35, 43-48, 61-59

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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