UST edges JRU; Lyceum, EAC prevail
Between them, Far Eastern University (FEU), University of the East (UE) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) boast a combined 56 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) championships.
Ranged against NCAA squads of lesser pedigree, that past glory hardly mattered—at least not for two of those schools.
The UST Tigers did come out with a victory, forging an 86-78 victory over the Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers in Sunday’s Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup in San Juan City.
Sherwin Concepcion and Bryan Santos were red-hot with 20 points apiece, combining for 11 out of UST’s 14 three-point makes. Rookie Kean Baclaan, added an all-around performance of 13 points, nine assists and five boards.
“We actually only practiced yesterday. The important part here is the win. As long as we win, we’re not looking if it’s by a huge gap or not. I told [the players] let’s get this win, so we can build from this and carry the momentum up until the next UAAP season,” coach Jinino Manansala said in Filipino.
Manansala is now handling UST on an interim basis, as the Tigers will be coached by former star and Philippine Basketball Association legend Bal David in the UAAP.
Not as lucky
The FEU Tamaraws and UE Red Warriors, meanwhile, weren’t as lucky.
Lyceum tripped FEU, 71-62 while Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) trimmed UE, 72-65, in the premier collegiate preseason tournament of the country.
Lyceum’s Mac Guadana finished with 29 points on 10-of-12 shooting and seven triples as the Pirates also leaned on the likes of John Barba, John Bravo and Renzo Navarro to frustrate the Tamaraws.
Adam Doria, on the other hand, stood at the forefront of the EAC attack, finishing with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting as the Generals overcame a slow start with support from John Paul Maguillano, who added 13 points and seven boards.
“Very evident that we were too tight. I don’t know, maybe because it’s a UAAP team [we were playing against],” said EAC coach Oliver Bunyi. “So I told them if you’re gonna get pressured, any X’s and O’s won’t work.”
The Generals outmuscled the Red Warriors, corralling 55 boards to UE’s 38.
The Tamaraws, playing for the first time since losing star RJ Abarrientos to the Korean pro league, aided their downfall after going scoreless for five minutes in the third period. And with Lyceum shooting 50 percent from the floor, even a 24-15 fourth-quarter run from the Morayta-based outfit was not enough. INQ