UNIVERSITY of the Philippines scored its first win of UAAP Season 79, beating University of the East, 75-71, on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Fighting Maroons closed the game with a 12-4 run and recorded their first win after starting the season with three losses.
The Red Warriors remain winless in four games.
“I do understand the first time that UP won, they celebrated with a bonfire. We understand that we are struggling but it’s struggling within a struggle,” said Bo Perasol as he scored his first win as head coach of his alma mater.
Jett Manuel and Paul Desiderio led the way, powering the Maroons in a fightback from 63-67 down in the fourth.
Manuel had 17 points including the final four points for UP, while Desiderio added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Manuel hit a lay-up with 1:29 left to break a 69-69 deadlock. He hit two free throws with 26.9 seconds to play to seal the win this time after losing to University of Santo Tomas last week in close fashion.
“They kept on going on. They knew that, like the cliché, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and this is some kind of a light for us. It’s a proof that we can win games,” Perasol said.
UP 75 — Manuel 17, Desiderio 17, Moralde 13, Gomez De Liano 7, Dario 7, Lim 5, Harris 4, Prado 2, Lao 2, Romero 1, Asilum 0, Webb 0, Longa 0.
UE 71 — Olayon 15, Batiller 14, Abanto 11, Derige 9, Palma 9, Manalang 7, Charcos 4, Pasaol 2, Varilla 0, Bartolome 0, Gagate 0, Acuno 0, Penuela 0, De Leon 0, Larupay 0.
Quarterscores: 16-19; 34-37; 57-58; 75-71.