University of the Philippines found its winning touch while Ateneo de Manila University struggled with turnovers in their respective friendly matches as part of their preparations for Season 85 University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament late Monday (Manila time).
The Fighting Maroons drew power from RC Calimag in the crucial stretch to eke out a thrilling 83-82 victory over the Ricardo Ratliffe-led Jeonju KCC Egis in Seoul while the Blue Eagles bowed to Elitzur Eito Ashkelon, 73-81, at the Zysman Arena in Tel Aviv.
It was such a sweet revenge for the Fighting Maroons, who suffered a 104-71 loss to Suwon KT Sonicboom on Wednesday, before dropping their back-to-back games against the Changwon LG Sakers, 83-80 on Thursday and 99-71 on Friday.
They tasted a narrow 82-80 setback to powerhouse Seoul SK Knights on Sunday.
Still, UP program director Bo Perasol remains satisfied.
“I’m very satisfied with what I am witnessing,” said Perasol, whose wards will wrap up the trip with games against Seoul Samsung Thunders, Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, and the Seoul SK Knights before flying home on 10 September.
“It is not only about the games but also the practices and the experiences that the boys share together here. They are able to practice with coach Gold (Monteverde) with much more focus and attention. They fight it out with the much-experienced pro players here, half of which have imports.”
The Eagles, however, were not as lucky.
After trailing by seven points at halftime, the Blue Eagles showed up rusty in the third quarter that allowed the Israeli pro club to pad the lead to 12.
Ateneo trimmed the deficit to five, 62-67, following a free throw by Forthsky Padrigao in the final 1:59.
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