University of the Philippines survives Ateneo de Manila University in overtime, 76-71, on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
With 32.1 seconds remaining in OT, Malick Diouf and Terrence Fortea went for a combined 2-of-4 on the free throw line to pull UP by five, 73-68.
Forthsky Padrigao fired a triple to close the gap to just two, 73-71, with 23.4 seconds left. Carl Tamayo was fouled and split his freebies, 74-71.
On the other end, Kai Ballungay attempted a three while Ange Kouame lost the ball in the scramble afterwards.
Diouf sank both charities to widen the margin and prevent an Ateneo comeback.
In the fourth quarter, the Maroons were already leading by seven, 64-57, with 3:04 left but the tag team of Padrigao and Dave Ildefonso then launched seven straight to even things up at 64 with 36.7 seconds left.
Tamayo was not able to handle the ball from a JD Cagulangan pass, resulting to a turnover, but Padrigao was unable to convert on a three to send the game to overtime.
Tamayo struggled in the first half but ended up with 20 points, 18 of which were scored in the second half, and added 13 rebounds and three assists. James Spencer got 14 points and six rebounds, while Diouf chipped in 12 points, two rebounds, and four assists.
After missing the first four games of the season due to a hamstring injury, Cagulangan debuted midway into the first quarter, contributing seven points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
Ildefonso led Ateneo with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. Padrigao finished with 15 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Five games into the season, the Fighting Maroons have already had two overtime games, first against Adamson University and now versus Ateneo, both of which they won.
UP is now tied with National University at the number one spot, both sporting a 4-1 record. Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles joined De La Salle University and University of the East for a three-way tie at third place, each having a 3-2 card heading into their next matches.
UP faces streaking UE on Wednesday at 4:30PM while Ateneo is looking to bounce back against Adamson at 1PM.
UP 76 — Tamayo 20, Spencer 14, Diouf 12, Lucero 10, Cagulangan 7, Abadiano 6, Galinato 4, Fortea 3, Gonzales 0, Alarcon 0, Calimag 0.
Ateneo 71 — Ildefonso 22, Padrigao 15, Kouame 10, Andrade 9, Ballungay 8, Koon 5, Chiu 2, Lazaro 0, Gomez 0, Garcia 0, Quitevis 0.
Quarter Scores: 18-14, 33-38, 53-54, 64-64, 76-71.