The UP Fighting Maroons MenÂé¶¹ÊÓÆµ Basketball Team (UPMBT) crushed the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 97-67, to draw the first blood in the best-of-three finals of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 menÂé¶¹ÊÓÆµ basketball tournament on Nov. 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
It was a close contest in the early goings of the game. Ahead by only three points, 42-39, with less than three minutes left in the second quarter, the UP Fighting Maroons unleashed an 11-2 run, punctuated by a three-point shot at the buzzer by JD Cagulangan to give the UPMBT a 12-point lead, 53-41, at the half time break.
The UP Fighting Maroons, led by Francis Lopez and Harold Alarcon, then broke the game wide open in the third canto to extend their lead to 22 points, 77-55, going into the final frame.
In the payoff period, the team continued with their masterful performance by forcing DLSU to commit more turnovers. The UPMBT was in total control of the ballgame as they cruised to a dominating win.
Alarcon paced the UPMBT with 21 points, two rebounds, and two assists. Lopez also had a great game, scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds. Cagulangan and Gerry Abadiano contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Game two is on Dec. 3, 4 p.m., at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.