The Games That Play Us: The Turn

Henry Asilum led the second half charge of UP as
they finally tasted victory in Season 75.


Watch out, Jeron Teng. You’re not the only rookie making waves and turning heads this season.

Henry Asilum may have had a forgettable first half against Roi Sumang and the UE Red Warriors, but his second half was one to remember.

Sumang, the former star of the Letran Squires, already scored a dozen points by halftime as the Reds threatened the Maroons, 30-26. At that point, Mark Lopez and Diony Hipolito carried the fight for the Iskos. Both combined for 15 points and 5 rebounds as UP tried its best to nail that elusive first win. Not only did Coach Ricky Dandan’s boys have to find a way to slow Sumang down, they also had to score and put the game beyond doubt lest the Warriors fan their upset hopes by sticking close.

Enter Asilum.

The rookie out of Cebu played just seven minutes in the first half, producing just 1 assist and 1 steal. By the numbers, he should be no match for the streaky and speedy Sumang, but man oh man was he a match, and then some.

After Sumang scored UE’s first three points in the second half to cut the lead, 34-29, Asilum went on a tear, scoring 9 straight points as the Diliman five took control for good at 41-32. Asilum wasn’t done as he scored 5 more points in the fourth quarter to underscore UP’s second half dominance. The closest the Reds would get is within 5 points as the Maroons didn’t let up.

In all, Asilum scored all 14 of his points in the last 20 minutes of play to go along with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. In contrast, Sumang scored just 6 points on 2-of-8 shooting in the same span of time. Perhaps we’ll see more of the former Energen Pilipinas standout in the second round of play.

Needless to say, this is a great win for UP. At least three of their past games could’ve easily turned into a win if certain breaks went their way, but now that they’ve actually gotten a win, their confidence should just skyrocket. And with Asilum raring and ready to take on anyone, maybe Coach Dandan has finally found his fearless floor general.

This is just one win, and UP is still in the bottom half of the standings, but this could also signify a big turn in the Maroons’ fortunes. That’s how powerful a win, and the feeling that comes with it, can be. When UP goes up against the teams that narrowly beat them in the first round, the Iskos will be filled with renewed fervor and confidence to go along with their reasonable depth. They should repeat over UE and beat Adamson, and perhaps an upset or two might be well-deserved as well. The Maroons are a long shot for a Final Four slot, but they’re in perfect position to be play the spoiler’s role and, consequently, turn another team’s fortunes for better or for worse.

The UP bench celebrates their maiden win of the year.

Roi Sumang tries to avoid the D of Raul Soyud
by dishing out a drop pass to a teammate.


UP 63 – Asilum 14, Lopez 10, Hipolito 9, Ball 7, Montecastro 6, Romero 5, Silungan 3, Mbah 2, Wierzba 2, Soyud 2, Padilla 2, Manuel 1
AdU 60 – Sumang 18, Sumido 9, Santos 8, Duran 4, Galanza 3, Flores 3, Javier 2, Hernandez 1, Alberto 0, Belleza 0, Villarias 0, Valdez 0
QS: 19-13, 26-30, 47-50, 61-60
Notable Performers:
Mark Lopez (UP) – 10pts, 8rebs, 4asts, 2stls, 1blk
Henry Asilum (UP) – 14pts, 4rebs, 3asts, 2stls
Adrian Santos (UE) – 8pts, 11rebs, 1blk

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