Controversial UP recruit Jun Manzo impressive in Fr. Martin Cup

The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and the Adamson Soaring Falcons unraveled new faces as they edged their foes Sunday in the 14th Fr. Martin Division 2 Cup basketball tournament at the St. Placid gym of the San Beda College-Manila campus in Mendiola, Manila.

Cebuano standout Jun Manzo topscored for 23 points, including the winning charities in the last five seconds for the Fighting Maroons in their 80-78 beating of the Diliman College Blue Dragons.

Manzo’s transfer from University of Visayas has been tainted with controversy as the Lancers and Maroons got into a heated tug-of-war over the Cebuano standout’s services. In the end, Manzo chose UP over his former school invoking his right under the Student Athletes Proctection Act, which empowers student-athletes to pick the schools they wanted to attend.

Manzo is fulfilling the mandatory one-year residency and is expected to make his UAAP debut next season.

Meanwhile, former Adamson high school player Keith Zaldivar made 15 points and transferee Jerie Pingoy, playing his first game after leaving Ateneo, added 12 points in leading the Soaring Falcons in holding off the San Beda-B Red Lions, 65-57.

The Maroons, coached by Rodney Santos, went on to post their third straight win in Group A of the senior division, while the Renren Ritualo-mentored Falcons picked up their third triumph in fourth matches.

The Blue Dragons, coached by Rensy Bajar, drew 20 points from Joseph Brutas, and absorbed their third loss in four matches.

Earlier, AJ Madrigal fired 16 points as the Maroons defeated San Beda-B, 66-61.

In other games, the Rich Golden Shower Montessori Center Spartans got 21 points from RJ Lozarito in quashing the San Beda-Mendiola Red Kittens, 89-85, to eke out their third straight victory in Group A of the junior division.

The Arellano University Braves waylaid the Manila Patriotic School Patriots, 71-64, and University of Santo Tomas smothered Makati Gospel College, 148-37, also in the high school section.

The Letran Knights won over Colegio San Agustin-Binan, 95-53, to improve their slate to 2-1 in Group B of the senior side.

Eugene Toba poured in 24 points for San Beda-A, which won over CSA-Binan, 107-73, while San Beda-B thwarted Jose Rizal University, 81-73.