MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines took out its anger on Ateneo, 95-70, during the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Pre-Season Cup on Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Center in San Juan.
The Fighting Maroons overcame their two skateboards, welcoming the defending UAAP champions with 25 points as Season 85 MVP Malick Diouf took the lead with 16 points and 8 bounces.
Diouf got UP off to an 8-0 start, setting the tone for the defeat when LeBron Lopez scored a breakthrough goal to go 20 points early in the second half, 31-11.
The Fighting Maroons took full control of their UAAP opponents in their first meeting since Game 3 of the Season 85 Finals. The Blue Eagles could only come close to 13th with 6:29 left but Alarcon scored seven points in a row to keep Ateneo at bay.
Alarcon finished with 16 points and 3 rebounds as a total of 5 UP players scored twice as many points, including CJ Cansino, who had 14 points, to improve their record to 4-2 in Group II.
“What I saw was that after two defeats we were able to bounce back from that. I’m pleased with our consistency today,” said UP coach Goldwin Monteverde. “In pre-season, every team is gaining experience. That’s true for us, it’s true for Ateneo, it’s true for everyone.”
Joseph Obasa was Ateneo’s only bright spot with a 13-point brace and 11 rebounds, while Mason Amos scored nine points and seven rebounds on their FilOil debut.
Ford Arao called the shots for the Blue Eagles as head coach Tab Baldwin is expected to return on Thursday when they take on National University, the game has improved to a 2-1 record after routing Oriental University, 91-69.
John Galinato led three Bulldogs by double digits with 15 points, as they forced 27 spins from the Red Warriors that were converted to 41 points to recover from An 86-107 loss to La Salle last Monday.
UE lost with a score of 2-4 despite being led by Noy Remogat by 31 points.
Meanwhile, La Salle remains unbeaten in seven games after beating Faith Colleges of Batangas 105-60.
The Blues Archers continued to lead the league as Kevin Quiambao scored 17 points, 9 rebounds and Ben Phillips scored 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Their substitutes added up to 65 points, beating the Batangas-based school, which remained winless in five games.
“We really played lousy basketball today. It’s disappointing to see our players play that way. We expect more. It’s not who we are. We should have been better,” said La Salle coach Topex Robinson, even as they led by 48.
“We cannot appear every day as a mediocre team. We must always respect the game. What if we play Ateneo today and we play like that?” he added.
Jude Torrato leads the Bravehearts with 15 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
In Group I, Enoch Valdez scored 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 steals as the Lyceum left the University of Arellano undefeated in the tournament 82-68, with an improved 3-2 scoreline.
In addition to Valdez, Shawn Umali contributed 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists to the Pirates’ second straight win.
“We had a problem with burning simula, pero kami, preferring to name it maiwan na lahat Nang yun sa peach. At the start of the second half, we regrouped and played as a team,” said LPU coach Gilbert Malabanan.
Arellano remains without a win in four games amid Joshua Abastillas’ 17 points and seven rebounds.
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