(Mall of Asia Arena)
10:30 a.m. – UE vs NU
12:30 p.m. – La Salle vs Adamson
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs UP
University of the Philippines eliminated resilient De La Salle 71-68 on Sunday to secure a Final Four berth and a twice-to-beat privilege in UAAP season 82 men’s basketball at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo and Kobe Paras steered the Maroons in the pivotal two minutes as they turned a 66-62 deficit into a victory.
Akhuetie had 17 points and 10 boards, Manzo finished with 12 points and eight assists, and Paras chipped in 10 points for UP, which duplicated its 72-71 first-round triumph over La Salle.
The Maroons hiked their tally to 9-4 heading to their last elims match against unbeaten Ateneo Blue Eagles on Wednesday, towing University of Santo Tomas (8-6) to the next phase.
The Archers, for their part, skidded to 6-7.
It was a rollercoaster journey to victory as far as UP was concerned.
The Maroons saw their 27-11 lead dwindled to 35-34 at the half after a 21-0 rampage from the Archers headed by Jamie Malonzo.
UP regained old form entering the second half and was dictating the tempo with a 62-61 lead until a crucial foul from Kobe Paras sent Aljun Melecio to the stripe with 3:19 to go.
Melecio completed three charities to give La Salle a 64-62 edge, but it turned out to be their last stand as Akhuetie, Manzo and Paras conspired for a 9-2 run.
La Salle had a chance to extend the game after Manzo’s split charity with two seconds left but ran out of time.
UP 71 — Akhuetie 17, Rivero 12, Manzo 11, Paras 10, Ja. Gomez de Liano 8, Webb 6, Ju. Gomez de Liano 3, Prado 2, Tungcab 2, Spencer 0.
LA SALLE 68 — Malonzo 17, Melecio 12, Baltazar 10, Bates 8, Serrano 8, Lojera 4, Manuel 4, Bartlett 3, Hill 2, Caracut 0.
Quarters: 21-11, 35-34, 55-45, 71-68.