UAAP: Strong second half propels UP Fighting Maroons to Season 81 opener win over UE

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) — The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons opened the 81st season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines on a positive note.

The Diliman-based squad demolished the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors, 87-58, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Juan Gomez de Liaño delivered 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists for UP.

The Fighting Maroons had a blistering start as they established a 10-0 lead early in the opening quarter.

Not to be outdone, the Red Warriors' bench unit sparked a rally which resulted to a 33-all score at the halftime break.

UP relied on its frenetic pace to keep UE at bay in the third period.

With the Red Warriors struggling on both ends of the floor, the Fighting Maroons capitalized on every possession to pull away for good.

Bright Akhuetie had a stellar debut for UP with 15 markers and 18 boards.

The Fighting Maroons will next face the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles on September 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, while UE will battle this year's host school team, National University Bulldogs on September 18 at the Fil Oil Arena.