Maroons grab BLIA Cup behind Paras’ 37 points

KOBE Paras erupted for 37 points to help the UP Fighting Maroons clinch the BLIA title in Taiwan. (Keith Magcaling)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

THE University of the Philippines Men’s basketball team prevailed over Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology (CHUST), 97-93, to nab the championship trophy with no defeats in the 2019 Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Cup last Sunday, July 21, 2019 at Kaohsiung Arena, Taiwan.

The game went back and forth as both teams splashed three pointers efficiently.

In the final canto, the game was deadlocked at 83 all, until the 3:29 mark when UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie and Kobe Paras manhandled CHUST in an 11-0 run to establish a 94-83 lead in to seal the game and bring home the bacon.

Paras put on an offensive display, pulling up treys and punishing the rim with an enormous dunk with 1:28 left in the fourth to cap off a 37-point performance.

The BLIA Cup was a confidence booster for the Fighting Maroons as they look to prepare and toughen up for their Serbian basketball camp.