UP outlasts Vanguard University, barges into BLIA Cup Finals Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) – July 20, 2019 – 6:08pm MANILA, Philippines — The UP Fighting Maroons outgunned the Vanguard University Lions, 84-77, in the Buddha Light International Association (BLIA) Cup Semifinals in Taiwan on Saturday. Despite trailing by double-digits at the end of the first half, the Fighting Maroons were able to claw back into the game with Bright Akhuetie leading the charge in the third quarter. A slow start from the UP squad saw them struggling to find any offensive rhythm against the California-based team. But Akhuetie and spark-off-the-bench Jaybie Mantilla were able to shift the momentum back to UP’s side early in the second half. After that, it was a back-and-forth affair with neither squad pulling away until the final canto. An unanswered 6-0 run put Vanguard U ahead by five in the middle of the fourth quarter, 71-66. But the Maroons recovered fast enough to take back the lead courtesy of two free throw makes from Kobe Paras, 75-74. It was all UP from that point on with the Diliman squad stretching the lead to seven, 81-74 with 30 seconds to go. The UP squad now has a 4-0 record in the BLIA Cup and will be playing in the Finals tomorrow.