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In preseason tourney, an end to UE’s winless spell

/ 05:10 AM August 04, 2022
UE's Nikko Paranada filoil ecooil preseason cup

UE’s Nikko Paranada. –FILOIL PHOTO

No one would have thought that when University of the East (UE) edged the National University Bulldogs, 79-77, in Season 82 of the UAAP, there would be a three-year gap before the Red Warriors would win again.

A pandemic break and a winless season stretched the distance between victories. On Wednesday, that drought came to an end.

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“We had four good practices last week; I told the boys it’s going to be a different game today,” said head coach Jack Santiago, after claiming his maiden win, 58-50, against the Arellano Chiefs in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup in San Juan City.

Santiago, who only coached for two games last UAAP season because of a suspension, hoped that this win would signify a new chapter in his coaching tenure with the squad.

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“It was traumatic when we lost 14 consecutive games last season; we worked to erase that experience every day. Hopefully, this win would be the start of better things to come,” he said in Filipino. The Red Warriors (1-3) were led by Nico Paranada’s 17 points and four steals, while Harvey Pagsanjan and Calvin Payawal scored nine points each.

Pirates triumph

It was a gritty game for both teams, with none scoring over 20 points in each of the four quarters. Arellano (0-4) also shot terribly in all areas, making a ghastly 26 percent from the field, while nailing only 53 percent of its foul line shots; the Chiefs also scored only five points in the third period.

This victory ends UE’s run of 18 straight losses, with Santiago claiming that Arellano had also beaten them in a tune-up match before entering this tournament.

Before UE ended their losing streak, the Lyceum Pirates (3-0) clipped the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigers (1-1), 83-73.The Tigers seized command early via a 23-10 start but couldn’t sustain the charge against the relentless Pirates.

“I actually got mad in the first half, because I told my players to follow the game plan. UST’s lead grew because we didn’t follow the game plan,” Lyceum coach Gilbert Malabanan said in Filipino. —CONTRIBUTED

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TAGS: National University, UAAP, University of the East
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