UP Fighting Maroons are off to a good start in the UAAP Season 82 as they win against the FEU Tamaraws with 61-55 on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
First-time UP players Juan Gomez de Liaño and Ricci Rivero, a former member of the De La Salle Green Archers, impressed the audience with their great performance in the court.
Of course, the other half Gomez de Liaño Brothers, Javi, also showcased another excellent play, finishing with a game-high 22 points and drove a 38-27 lead during the first half.
Despite that, FEU blocked UP halfway through the 3rd quarter to close the score with a 3-point gap, 41-44.
Both teams exchanged scores but that went to a pause when the Tamaraws tied the game at 55-all with Ino Comboy’s free throw.
The Maroons, however, kept their game when Bright Akhuetie, reigning season MVP, beat the scoring drought after shooting from a hook shot with only 1:35 minutes left on the clock.
Branrey Bienes attempted to score from a three-point shot but the ball bounced back.
With only a few seconds remaining, UP Captain Jun Manzo fortunately saved the opening game and finished it with 4 consecutive free throws.
Meanwhile, Kobe Paras, who has been excited to play with the Maroons, was not able to join the team because of an injury.
UP – 61
Ja. Gomez de Liaño – 22, Manzo – 9, Akhuetie – 7, Rivero – 7, Murrell – 6, Ju. Gomez de Liano – 6, Webb – 3, Prado – 1, Mantilla – 0, Tungcab – 0, Spencer – 0.
FEU – 55
Bienes – 9, Gonzales – 8, Tchuente – 8, Comboy – 8, Tuffin – 6, Torres – 6, Can i- 5, Ebona – 3, Celzo – 2, Alforque – 0.