UNIVERSITY of the Philippines booked a ticket to the championship of the 2019 Buddha's Light International Association Cup with an 84-77 come-from-behind win over Vanguard University in the semifinals on Saturday in Kaohsiung.
Reigning UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie powered the Fighting Maroons with 26 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block.
Kobe Paras canned the go-ahead freebies with 1:48 remaining, 77-74, and also iced the game with a slam in the final 30.9 seconds as he wound up with 15 points, five boards and two blocks.
Jaybie Mantilla chucked in 11 points, three steals, and two rebounds, as Javi Gomez de Liano had 10 points, four boards, and two assists.
It was a huge boost in confidence for the boys of coach Bo Perasol, who fought back from a 13-point halftime deficit, 47-34.
UP faces the winner of the other semifinal matchup between Huaqiao University and Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology.
Christian Wilson led Vanguard with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.