University of the East squad sent a warning to the rest of the UAAP with a scintillating fourth-quarter effort that lifted the Warriors past the National U Bulldogs, 81-68, last night for the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup crown.
The Warriors outhustled the Bulldogs at every turn in the final period, while drawing firepower from Ralf Olivarez, Roi Sumang and Lord Casajeros to wrest their second Filoil crown and first since 2008 before a roaring crowd at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Olivarez finished with 19 points in just 24 minutes, while Sumang and Casajeros combined for 34 points for the Red Warriors, who finished the tournament on an eight-game winning streak, beating UAAP contenders Adamson and University of Santo Tomas en route to the finals.
UE’s Sierra Leone-born center Charles Mammie also dished out another monster performance with 10 points and 21 boards.
The Warriors trailed by nine just before the end of the third period, before unleashing a crippling run that eventually snapped the defending champion Bulldogs’ 21-game winning run. The Warriors outscored the Bulldogs, 34-13, in the final period.
“We’re very gracious that we were able to experience this,” said UE coach Boycie Zamar, who returned to the Warriors bench in the second round of the UAAP last season.
“We showed a lot of character in this game. This is just the preseason but this is a big factor because we came from a seventh place finish in the UAAP.”
The Bulldogs, with their tall and athletic roster, looked in control, until the fourth period, where they lost Bobby Ray Parks and Emmanuel Mbe due to fouls.
Parks, the reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player, still finished with 23 points, but the rest of the Bulldogs struggled to find their offense when he fouled out with close to six minutes remaining.
The Warriors went on a 13-3 tear with Sumang, Casajeros and Olivarez combining for all the points to seize a 63-57 advantage with 5:44 remaining. Sumang finished off the Bulldogs with back-to-back jumpers, 74-60, with two and a half minutes left.
Earlier, San Beda, leaning on a balanced offensive led by Baser Amer, clinched third place after repulsing UST, 74-70.
Amer wound up with 15 points to lead four other players in double digits for the Lions, who led from start to finish.
SAN BEDA 74—Amer 15, Dela Rosa 13, Adeogun 12, Pascual 12, Dela Cruz 10, Mendoza 4, Abarcar 4, Koga 2, Ludovice 2, A. Semerad 0, D. Semerad 0, Sara 0, Villaruz 0.
UST 70—Teng 27, Abdul 12, Mariano 9, Bautista 9, Lo 6, Daquioag 5, So 2, Pe 0, Ferrer 0, Sheriff 0, Ran 0, Macasaet 0, Lao 0, Hainga 0.
Quarters: 14-16, 36-35, 47-52, 74-70.
UE 81—Olivarez 19, Sumang 18, Casajeros 16, Mammie 10, Jumao-as 8, Javier 6, Noble 2, Hernandez 2, Santos 0, Sumido 0, Guion 0, Flores 0.
NU 68—Parks 23, Alolino 12, Mbe 7, Villamor 6, Javillonar 5, Rosario 5, Aroga 5, Alejandro 3, Rono 2, Neypes 0, De Guzman 0.
Quarters: 14-16, 36-32, 47-55, 81-68