Wednesday , March 3 2021

UP heads to first finish UAAP in 32 years, Knocks Out Adamson

History has been written and it was marked with maroon ink.

University of the Philippines upgraded Adamson University, 89-87, in a classic overtime battle Wednesday to advance to the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball tournament for the first time in 32 years.

The Fighting Maroons and the Soaring Falcons are fighting the dead, but UP, which was traced by six early in OT, was able to show the guts that have brought them all the way here.

Down 84-78 in extra after Adamson spurt, UP slowly clawed its way to the lead with Bright Akhuiete tying the game at 84 and the graduate Paul Desiderio scoring five straight points to seal the monumental victory.

It is the first finals appearance for the Fighting Maroons, who have spent years as a cellar owner until recently, since they won the title in 1986.

UP Fighting Maroons Juan Gomez de Liaño

UP was in control of most of the game, making double digits leads in the first half before Juan Gomez De Liaño gave the Fighting Maroons their biggest lead, 58-44, midway through the third.

But the no. 2 seeded Adamson, who had a double-to-beat edge in the Final Four, did not go down without a fight, wrestling the lead away at the end of the third before the UP Maroons made their deciding run to the title round.

UP will face defending champion Ateneo, which disposed of Far Eastern University in the other Final Four matchup, in the best-of-three finals starting on December 1 at Mall of Asia Arena.

For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.

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