ANTIPOLO -- University of the Philippines maintained its hold of the No. 2 spot but not after surviving another scare while La Salle halted a two-game slide in the UAAP men's basketball tournament yesterday at the Ynares Center here.
The Fighting Maroons fended off a stirring University of the East fightback from 13-points down to pound out a 62-56 win.
Andrei Caracut drilled in two huge triples in the final 57 seconds as the Green Archers rediscovered their winning ways with a 68-61 win over Adamson.
Extending its winning streak to three games, UP improved to 4-1 overall behind defending two-time champion Ateneo's perfect 5-0 record.
La Salle rose to 2-3 card, putting the Archers half-a-game behind the fourth-running Falcons, who fell at 3-3.
Although they never trailed, the Maroons found the Red Warriors a tough nut to crack especially in the second half.
UE stormed back from deficit to move within 56-57 on a Harvey Pagsanjan lay-up, with 1:54 remaining.
Jaydee Tungcab then produced the game's biggest basket, nailing a corner triple that gave UP a 60-56 cushion at the 1:38 mark.
After a Kobe Paras split from the foul line for a five-point lead with 1:09 mark, the Maroons turned to their defense, as Jun Manzo blocked Rey Suerte's three-pointer on the next possession that would have cut down the Warriors' deficit to two.
Suerte, who dropped a season-high 31 points in UE's 89-88 victory over La Salle, was held down to four points on a 2-of-15 shooting, as Tungcab and Manzo took turns in neutralizing the Cebuano standout.
"We had lots of lapses, but in the end it was Jaydee that saved us with his three-point shot in the corner," said UP mentor Bo Perasol.
With the tendencies of giving up huge leads in the past three wins, Perasol is hoping that everyone will be in the same page in terms of offense as the season progresses.
"Because if there’s going to be a time that’s going to come na lahat sila mainit, mahirap din naman kami talunin. It just so happened na marami rin sa kanila nagmimintis pa. Juan (Gomez de Liaño) is still waiting for his game to come back. Ricci (Rivero), lahat sila. But there’s going to be a time that they’re going to be back," said Perasol.
UP (62) -- Akhuetie 16, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 15, Paras 12, Rivero 7, Tungcab 4, Ju. Gomez de Liaño 3, Manzo 3, Webb 2, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0.
UE (56) -- Diakhite 21, Abanto 9, Tolentino 8, Antiporda 6, Pagsanjan 6, Suerte 4, Cruz 2, Manalang 0, Mendoza 0, Natividad 0.
Quarterscores: 23-15, 39-27, 46-42, 62-56
DLSU (68) -- Baltazar 21, Caracut 15, Malonzo 12, Manuel 6, Lojera 5, Melecio 4, Bates 3, Bartlett 2, Cagulangan 0, Cu 0, Meeker 0, Pado 0, Serrano 0.
AdU (61) -- Ahanmisi 13, Chauca 13, Camacho 12, Mojica 9, Douanga 7, Lastimosa 3, Fermin 2, Zaldivar 2, Bernardo 0, Flowers 0, Magbuhos 0, Manlapaz 0, Yerro 0.
Quarterscores: 15-21, 41-32, 52-49, 68-61