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UAAP Season 81 Recap: Juan Gomez de Liaño Was A Scoring Machine, Helps UP Advanced To Finals

by | Posted on: November 28th, 2018 | No Comments | Sports
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Juan Gomez de Liaño scored 30 points, his new career-high versus the Adamson Soaring Falcons and led his team to the UAAP Season 81 promise land.

Juan GDL was mostly defended by Adamson’s ace guard Jerrick Ahanmisi in the deciding game of their Final Four series. His performance during Game 1 was over shadowed by the great performance of his teammates Paul Desiderio and Bright Akhuetie especially in the crucial moments of the gamei

Yet, Desiderio still have his “Mamba Mentality” in the overtime period of Game 2 where he sank his mid-range jumper against the long stretched arms on Sean Manganti.

Perhaps one of the best or might be the most dramatic ending in the entire history of UAAP.

The telenovela-like game started in the 1:22 mark of the fourth quarter after Jerson Prado swished his two free-throws and had a tiger-look stare on Soaring Falcons Papi Sarr, Fighting Maroons were on front 76-73.

Prior to the free-throw, both players were fighting for a low-post position which ended to a Sarr’s hard foul.

Jerrick Ahanmisi answered back in the next position with a jumper and puts the score 75-76.

The UP’s Jun Manzo had his jump shot reply and put his team back in the driver seat, 78-75 with 10 seconds remaining in the game. At that time it seems that UP will head on to the UAAP Finals but coach Franz Pumaren probably said in their huddle that game still not yet finished.

Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa able to connect his corner wing three-pointer and sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, the game went more dramatic.

Adamson made a quick 6-0 blast and the momentum shifted to their side, 84-78.

However, Juan Gomez de Liaño and Bright Akhuetie don’t want to give up as they led their own version of 6-0 run to tie the game once again, 84-all.

“There was a time when we already gave up, but I can just see it — I told myself that if I cannot stand for my team, if I cannot be confident for my team, if I cannot believe for my team, who else will believe?” said UP head coach Bo Perasol. “So I just kept encouraging them, letting them know that this is not over yet. And that was what happened.”

Then there’s the taking over of the UP team Captain, Paul Desiderio. His last five points was enough to seal the victory and ended his school’s 32-year Finals drought.

Jerome Lastimosa had the potential game winning three-pointer but it only hit the backboard as time expires.

“If you are going to make a telenovela, how are you going to make it better than that?” said Perasol. “You already won it, then parang iniisip mo, how can you win it better? I’m just happy to be in the Finals . . . We’re blessed to have this kind of win.”

University of the Philippines vs Adamson University Box Score

Quarters: 26-16, 51-42, 64-67, 78-78, 89-87.

Fighting Maroons (89): Ju. Gomez de Liaño 30, Desiderio 16, Akhuetie 13, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 8, Tungcab 6, Prado 6, Dario 5, Manzo 4, Jaboneta 1, Lim 0, Vito 0.

Soaring Falcons (87): Ahanmisi 20, Lastimosa 17, Sarr 16, Camacho 10, Pingoy 7, Manganti 6, Magbuhos V. 6, Espeleta 2, Mojica 2, Bernardo 1.

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