PAUL Desiderio scored 38 points while Bright Akhuetie added 18 points to lead University of the Philippines to a 98-90 win over Bulacan State University on Monday night in the 2017 Republica Cup collegiate basketball tournament.
Desiderio had 17 points in the final canto alone to fire up the Fighting Maroons who came charging back from a 69-63 deficit against the Gold Gears at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
Akhuetie, meanwhile, was dominant as expected inside the paint for State U in his first game in the offseason following his celebrated transfer from NCAA squad Perpetual Help.
Diego Dario also added 18 points for the Maroons, who outscored the Gold Gears, 34-21, in the fourth period.
UCBL Season 1 MVP Dominick Fajardo had 30 points for the Gold Gears, including 10 in the second quarter when the home team opened a 43-30 lead at the halftime break.