DIEGO Dario hit the game-winner as the University of the Philippines hacked out a 61-59 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup on Wednesday.
Trailing by one, the Fighting Maroons went to the pint-sized Dario, who delivered by launching a three-pointer with eight ticks to go.
Francis Munsayac missed a shot at a potential game-winning triple as time expired, allowing the Maroons to escape with a third successive victory.
UP also sent the Generals crashing back to earth following a thrilling win over erstwhile unbeaten Adamson in their last outing. EAC fell to a 1-3 card.
Dario finished with 14 points, while Paul Desiderio topscored with 18 for the Maroons, who shook off a sluggish start to take command, 41-39, entering the final frame.
It was a back-and-forth contest from there, before Dario made the game's biggest basket.
"It was a lucky shot by Diego. I think we closed the game really bad but Diego's shot bailed us out," said UP coach Bo Perasol.
Jerom Garcia and Munsayac paced EAC with 11 points apiece.
UP 61 – Desiderio 18, Dario 14, Gomez de Liano 9, Lim 6, Manzo 5, Vito 5, Quattara 4, Webb 1, Ricafort 0, Harris 0, Prado 0, Romero 0
EAC 59 – Garcia 11, Munsayac 11, Onwubere 10, Laminou 8, Guzman 6, Bautista 5, Diego 4, Pascua 2, Gonzales 2, Mendoza J 0, Mendoza I 0, Tampoc 0, Corilla 0, Neri 0
Quarterscores: 6-19, 24-29, 41-39, 61-59