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UP defeats CSB for second Premier Cup win
by rick olivares
The UP Fighting Maroons gave the College of St. Benilde Blazers a dose of its own medicine with an aggressive full court defense for a 67-58 win in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
The Blazers harassed UP into seven first period turnovers that they converted into nine points for an 18-10 lead. However, the Fighting Maroons turned the tables around in the second period that saw them close the gap to 25-25 at the half behind Jett Manuel, Diego Dario, and Dave Moralde.
UP head coach Bo Perasol experimented with a four-guard line-up in the third period that paid dividends. The Fighting Maroons posted a 48-36 lead after 30 minutes of play as they threatened to blow out the Blazers. CSB gave it one last push behind point guard JJ Domingo who scored 10 points and issued two assists, but UP proved to be more steady in the clutch as they hit nine free throws while holding the Blazers to two points in the final two minutes of play.
After making their adjustments, Benilde had no more second chance points while UP had 14 of their own. The cut down their turnovers from 11 in the first half to seven in the second while CSB nearly doubled their errors with 28.
“We were able to make the initial stops but were giving Benilde lots of second chances. And we were not able to score. This is a team that needs to be encouraged all the time after being battered for so long. They are hungry for a win but they do not believe they can win. So it was a matter of constantly repeating that they can win,” said Perasol of the huge win.
UP’s center Andrew Harris once more supplied the rebounds and the energy as his infectious play rubbed off on teammates. Harris tallied seven points and 13 rebounds with nine coming off the offensive glass.
“We were outrebounded again (48-41) but we found a way to win,” added Perasol.
The Fighting Maroons’ second consecutive win (they defeated FEU 67-61 last Wednesday, May 11) gave them a 2-1 record while Benilde fell to 0-4.
Moralde led UP with 14 points while Dario added 10. CSB was led by Christian Fajarito’s 14 markers while JJ Domingo added 12 with forward Yankee Haruna chipping in 10.