Games on Thursday
10 a.m.: Arellano vs. Perpetual
12 p.m.: FEU vs. Faith Colleges
2 p.m.: San Beda vs. EAC
4 p.m.: National U vs. Ateneo
MANILA — The Preseason Cup’s highly anticipated Battle of Katipunan between the University of the Philippines (UP) and Ateneo de Manila University ended in a lopsided victory for UP, as they handily defeated their rivals with a commanding 25-point lead of 95-70 on Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Eager to bounce back from consecutive losses, the UP Maroons wasted no time asserting their dominance from the opening tip-off. Led by Malick Diouf, who accounted for all but two points in their impressive 8-0 run, UP quickly established a substantial advantage. A breakaway dunk by LeBron Lopez further widened their lead to 20 points, reaching 31-11 early in the second quarter.
Head coach Goldwin Monteverde expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, stating, “After experiencing two losses, we were able to bounce back. I was pleased with the consistency we displayed today.” With this victory, UP improved their record to 4-2.
Maintaining control throughout the game, UP never allowed Ateneo to come within striking distance. Although the Blue Eagles managed to reduce the deficit to 13 points with 6:29 remaining, Harold Alarcon swiftly responded with seven consecutive points, effectively shutting down any hopes of an Ateneo comeback.
Malick Diouf stood out with an impressive stat line of 16 points and eight rebounds, while Harold Alarcon contributed 16 points and three rebounds. Additionally, the Fighting Maroons had five players reach double-digit scoring, with CJ Cansino adding 14 points to their impressive offensive display.
As always, Monteverde quickly dismissed any misguided thoughts about their complete victory over their tormentors from the previous UAAP season.
In Ateneo’s debut, Joseph Obasa emerged as the lone player to reach double digits, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Mason Amos contributed nine points and seven rebounds. With head coach Tab Baldwin expected to return on Thursday, their focus shifted to the upcoming formidable match against National University.
On the other hand, De La Salle University, another powerhouse in the UAAP, had to overcome complacency before overpowering Faith Colleges of Batangas with a resounding 105-60 victory.
Remaining unbeaten in Group II after seven games, the Green Archers showcased their arsenal against the unfortunate Bravehearts. The team’s reserves alone scored a total of 65 points, with Kevin Quiambao leading the way with 17 points and nine rebounds. Ben Phillips contributed 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Head coach Topex Robinson expressed disappointment in his team’s performance, describing their play as “lousy basketball.” Despite leading by as much as 48 points, Robinson expected more from his players, emphasizing that it was not a reflection of their true abilities. The team’s dominant display was not enough to satisfy the coach’s expectations.
Faith Colleges started impressively, gaining a 5-3 advantage within the first minute. However, Robinson’s adjustments, specifically relying on Quiambao and Bright Nwankwo, resulted in a 30-6 run over the next eight minutes, giving them a commanding 33-11 lead that they would never relinquish. Nwankwo contributed 12 points and five rebounds, while Jonnel Policarpio added 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Robinson reminded his players, especially with a looming matchup against archrival Ateneo on Sunday, that they must not settle for mediocrity. He emphasized the importance of consistently honoring the game and questioned what would have happened if they had played Ateneo with the same level of performance displayed that day.
Jude Torrato led the Bravehearts (0-5) in scoring with 15 points, four assists, and three steals.
National University bounced back from a previous loss to La Salle by defeating the University of the East with a convincing 91-69 victory.
John Galinato led the Bulldogs with 15 points, as they showcased strong defensive play and forced 27 turnovers, converting them into 41 points. They also dominated in the paint, outrebounding their opponents 40-30 and scoring 23 second-chance points compared to UE’s nine. The win improved their Group II record to 2-1.
Despite Noy Remogat’s impressive 31-point performance, the Red Warriors fell to a 2-4 record.