JUN Manzo churned out a season-best 17 points to lead University of the Philippines to snap its two-game losing slide with a gutsy 78-75 win over University of the East in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Cebuano guard picked the right time to deliver his best outing of the tourney, going 3-of-7 from deep, to go with five assists and three rebounds.
The victory hiked the Fighting Maroons to a 6-3 record, their first win with head coach Bo Perasol still serving his three-game suspension.
"We were able to bounce back. In the perfect basketball world, we would have wanted a more convincing one, but we’ll take this of course because we’ve come from back-to-back losses," said deputy coach Ricky Dandan.
Manzo spurred UP's quick start, jumping on a 27-8 onslaught to erect an early 19-point lead.
The Fighting Maroons were even leading by 15, 65-50, heading into the payoff period, but the Red Warriors remained stubborn and cutting the lead down to as low as two, 69-67, with 3:52 left with a split from the line from JM Cruz.
Kobe Paras, however, made big plays late, first burying a trey before setting up Javi Gomez de Liano to reinstate the 74-67 lead with 1:46 remaining.
Bright Akhuetie bucked an early knee injury scare to top UP with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Paras nabbed 14 points, six boards, and three assists in the win.
Ricci Rivero also had his season-best 10 points and two steals, while Javi Gomez de Liano also tallied 10 points and two steals.
UE suffered back-to-back losses to fall to 3-7.
That also spoiled Alex Diakhite's 28-point, 20-rebound, and 3-block performance, while Rey Suerte chimed in 17 points, seven boards, and six steals for the Red Warriors.
UP 78 -- Akhuetie 18, Manzo 17, Paras 14, Ja. Gomez de Liano 10, Rivero 10, Ju. Gomez de Liano 4, Mantilla 3, Tungcab 2, Gob 0, Prado 0, Webb 0.
UE 75 -- Diakhite 28, Suerte 17, Manalang 10, Cruz 7, Conner 6, Antiporda 3, Pagsanjan 2, Tolentino 2, Abanto 0, Apacible 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarters: 27-10, 46-41, 65-50, 78-75.