The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons men’s basketball team stunned powerhouse De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 71-66, in their game Wednesday afternoon.
The Diliman-based squad has now won back-to-back games after also defeating the University of the East Red Warriors in their season-opener last Sunday, 62-55. Meanwhile, it is the first loss for DLSU after beating defending champions National University in their first outing, 67-63. With the victory, UP is now on top of the team standings with a 2-0 record.
UP led by as much as 17 points in the third quarter and maintained a double digit lead for much of the fourth quarter. However, the Green Archers led by Prince Rivero and team captain Jeron Teng managed to unleash a 14-2 run with just a minute left in the game.
However, a turnover caused by Teng’s offensive foul with only 40 second left effectively dashed DLSU’s hopes of stealing the game. Teng fouled out of the game with 10 points.
Team captain Jose Anton Manuel and point guard Andres Desiderio anchored the Fighting Marooned with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Green Archers’ Rivero and Joshua Caracut had 15 and 12 points, respectively.
The last time the Fighting Maroons defeated the Green Archers was in 2009, when they won 83-78 with star player and now ABS-CBN sports analyst Mikee Reyes scoring 25 points and dishing out six assists.
Meanwhile, the last time the Fighting Maroons began their UAAP season with back to back season was in 2005, when they defeated UST and DLSU during their first two games. They ended the eliminations round at fifth place with a 6-8 win-loss record.