Warriors nail season-opening win vs Tigers | Inquirer Sports

Warriors nail season-opening win vs Tigers

/ 05:10 AM October 01, 2023

Precious Momowei (right) and the Red Warriors bulldoze their way past the Tigers

Precious Momowei (right) and the Red Warriors bulldoze their way past the Tigers. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

For the first time in nine years, University of the East (UE) will be gunning for a winning streak heading into the second game of the season.

The Warriors finally won an opening-day match after nearly a decade, leaning on big performances from four of its players to thwart the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigers and their returning champion coach, 80-70, on Saturday at the start of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.


“I’m so happy with the outcome of the game. At least our boys responded very well,” said UE coach Jack Santiago.


Some UE boys, however, responded better than others.

Noy Remogat and Precious Momowei delivered a pair of double-double performances at Mall of Asia Arena while rookie Jack Cruz-Dumont and Abdul Sawat provided added firepower for the Red Warriors, who won their season opener for the first time since Season 77, a decade ago.

Remogat, who was a bench player of UE last year, delivered 21 points and 10 assists on top of three steals, while Nigerian student-athlete Momowei debuted with 17 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals.

“I just showed that I’m not just a [bench player]. I can also start,” Remogat said after the game.

Cruz-Dumont was also impressive in his first UAAP game with 16 points including the clutch baskets that kept UST at bay. He also grabbed seven rebounds.

Sawat set the tone for the Red Warriors, scoring 13 of his 15 markers in the first half, where they opened up a big gape to force the Tigers to play catch-up the rest of the way.


“Actually, we didn’t scout UST because we didn’t see them play for the past 10 months. I told my players, knowing coach Pido [Jarencio], he’s a winning coach and a veteran coach also. They will come out strong and they will give us a lot of surprises,” said Santiago.

Jarencio returned to a program he coached to a title in 2006, but one that was mired in a 1-13 record art the end of last season. A heavy recruitment buzz loaded UST with a lot of hope. But on Saturday, the Tigers picked up from last season, losing their 14th straight UAAP game.

The Red Warriors led as many as 19 points with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter behind the big shots of Remogat. But the Growling Tigers didn’t go down without a fight, erasing a 71-54 deficit with a 13-4 run capped by Nic Cabañero’s lay-up and a three-point play from Mark Llemit to turn it into an eight-point game, 75-67, with 2:03 remaining.

“They made a run, I just told the boys not to give up and they responded well,” said Santiago.

Remogat found Cruz-Dumont open as the latter nailed a clutch corner trey, 78-67, at the 1:20 mark.

UE unleashed a 22-9 start but UST recovered with a 12-0 run to cut it down to one, 22-21, at the end of the opening quarter. The Red Warriors got their act together before halftime with a 46-34 spread and pulled away in the third.

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Cabañero led the Tigers with 18 points and eight rebounds. Christian Manaytay had 15 points and eight boards, while Migs Pangilinan added 10 points from three triples.

TAGS: Basketball, UAAP, UE Warriors, UST Tigers

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