UP cruises past UE for sixth straight win, gains playoff

UP cruises past UE for sixth straight win, gains playoff

NIKOLE JAVIER 

Malick Diouf fired a career-high 23 points as University of the Philippines cruised past University of the East, 83-69, to secure a playoff spot in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament Saturday, Nov, 5, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

In a fitting sequel to his impressive showing against Adamson on Wednesday where he scored 20 points, Diouf completed another  double-double showing by hauling down 15 rebounds apart from posting , four assists, three steals and two blocks to help lift the Maroons to their sixth straight win and 9th overall in 10 games.

That earned the reigning champions a playoff spot for the semis stage.

Inspired by their 90-71 win over the Falcons the last time, the Warriors roared out of the gate for a 35-18 advantage after only 10 minutes of play.

They even padded their lead to 18 points before the Warriors finally woke up from a deep slumber and closed in on at 71-64 through the gutsy plays of Gani Stevens.

Diouf and Zavier Lucero, however,  stepped up again, triggering a telling 12-0 run to finally take the fight out of the Warriors.

Lucero, for his part, tallied 17 points – thanks to a decent 8-of-12 shooting while Terrence Fortea and Harold Alarcon had 10 points apiece. 

Unlike in their first-round encounter, UE had no tricks up in its sleeves as the Maroons imposed their will inside.

Carl Tamayo was held scoreless for the first time as he missed all his four tries from the field in 13 minutes of action. He grabbed three rebounds but turned the ball four times.

Stevens had 23 points, while brothers Kyle and Nikko Paranada finished with 13 and 13 points, respectively, for UE which fell to 4-6.

The scores:

UP 83 — Diouf 23, Lucero 17, Fortea 10, Alarcon 10, Galinato 9, Gonzales 7, Spencer 4, Abadiano 2, Cagulangan 1, Tamayo 0, Lina 0, Torculas 0, Calimag 0, Ramos 0.

UE 69 — Stevens 23, K. Paranada 13, N. Paranada 13, Villegas 10, Payawal 4, Sawat 2, Abatayo 2, Pagsanjan 0, Remogat 0, Antiporda 0, Beltran 0, Tulabut 0.

Quarters: 35-18, 49-33, 63-55, 83-69.