Maroons stretch win streak to seven

Defending champion University of the Philippines extended its hot winning streak to seven after a 73-59 rout of Far Eastern University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Thursday night.

James Spencer registered a personal-best 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbed three rebounds to lead the semifinals-bound Fighting Maroons, who despite missing the services of point guard Terrence Fortea due to a right high ankle sprain moved closer to clinching a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage.

UP firmed up its grip on the solo top spot with a 10-1 win-loss record, pulling away from the rest of the field and showing no signs of slowing down even after a near two-week break.

“After a long break at least, we started strong especially in our defense in the first part that created chances for us to score. We just have to work on being consistent,” UP coach Goldwin Monteverde said.

The Fighting Maroons jumped to a 16-1 lead to open the match before cruising the rest of the way. UP blew the game wide-open with a 21-point advantage in the second half.

Malick Diouf submitted a neat stats line with a double-double of 11 points and 20 rebounds he laced with three assists, three blocks and one steal for UP.

Carl Tamayo got 10 markers and seven boards while Gerry Abadiano and Zavier Lucero finished with nine and eight points, respectively, for the Fighting Maroons.

“It’s a good win. We had a great start. We just a little bit let the lead slip but managed to get it back up again,” Spencer said. “On any given night anyone can pop up for any given amount of points. It’s just happy it was me today.”

The Tamaraws absorbed their second loss in a row to go down 4-7 tied with University of the East.

Kyle Bautista paced FEU with 12 points while Cholo Anunuevo had 10 markers as the only Tamaraws in double figures.


The Scores:

UP (73) — Spencer 19, Diouf 11, Tamayo 10, Abadiano 9, Lucero 8, Cagulangan 6, Alarcon 6, Galinato 3, Ramos 1, Gonzales 0, Calimag 0, Lina 0, Eusebio 0, Torculas 0, Andrews 0.

FEU (59) — Bautista 12, Anonuevo 10, Tchuente 9, Gonzales 9, Torres 7, Sleat 7, Alforque 3, Sajonia 2, Sandagon 0, Tempra 0, Ona 0, Bagunu 0.

Quarters: 22-18, 43-32, 58-42, 73-59.

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