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UP convincingly claims Battle of Katipunan in Filoil Preseason

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UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES (UP) routed Ateneo de Manila University, 95-70, in the Battle of Katipunan at the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup on Wednesday at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Coming off back-to-back losses, the Maroons brought the fight to their modern-day rivals from the tip-off, with Malick Diouf scoring all but two points in their 8-0 start. A breakaway dunk from LeBron Lopez then widened their margin to 20, 31-11, early in the second quarter.

“Coming from two losses, we were able to bounce back from it. I was satisfied about our consistency today,” said head coach Goldwin Monteverde after they got back on track now at 4-2.

From there, UP remained in complete control of the fierce foes’ first meeting since the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball finals, as the Blue Eagles could only come as close as 13 with 6:29 remaining only to be repulsed by Harold Alarcon’s seven straight points.

In the end, Diouf posted 16 points and eight rebounds, while Alarcon chipped in 16 points and three rebounds. The Fighting Maroons counted five players in double-digits, with CJ Cansino contributing 14 points as well.

As always, however, Monteverde pumped the brakes on any misguided thoughts about their rout of their tormentors from the previous UAAP season. “Dito naman sa preseason, every team is just gaining experience. That goes for us, that goes for Ateneo, that goes for lahat,” he said.

Joseph Obasa was the lone player who breached double-digits for debuting Ateneo with 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds, as Mason Amos tallied nine points and seven rebounds. With shot-caller Tab Baldwin expected to return on Thursday, they turn their attention to another colossal contest opposite National University.

De La Salle University, another UAAP powerhouse, meanwhile, had to battle through complacency before blasting Faith Colleges of Batangas, 105-60.

The lone lossless team in Group II through seven games, the Green Archers just had more weapons to wield against the luckless Bravehearts. Their reserves by themselves totaled 65 points, led by Kevin Quiambao’s 17 to go along with nine rebounds, as well as Ben Phillips’ 12 on top of four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

“We actually played lousy basketball today. It’s very disappointing to see our players play that way. We expected more. It’s not who we are. We should be better,” said head coach Topex Robinson, even after they led by as much as 48.

Faith Colleges got off to an impressive start, earning a 5-3 edge after one minute until Robinson turned to Quiambao and Bright Nwankwo for a 30-6 rush in the next eight minutes that took away a 33-11 advantage they would never relinquish. Nwankwo wound up with 12 points and five rebounds, while Jonnel Policarpio also added 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

Still, Robinson had a gentle reminder for his wards, especially as a duel with archrival with Ateneo looms upon them on Sunday still at the same venue. “We cannot show up every day being a mediocre team. We have to always honor the game. What would have happened if we were playing Ateneo today and we played like that?” he said.

Jude Torrato top-scored for the Bravehearts (0-5) with 15 points, four assists, and three steals.

National U bounced back from a double-digit defeat to La Salle the last time around by beating down on University of the East, 91-69.

John Galinato led three Bulldogs in double-digits with 15 points, as they clamped down on defense and forced 27 turnovers that were turned into 41 points. They also dominated down low, with 40-30 and 23-9 advantages in rebounds and second-chance points, respectively, to hike their Group II record to 2-1.

“Good thing we stepped up on defense. Last game, we played individually against La Salle,” head coach Jeff Napa said, referring to their 86-107 loss last Monday.

The Red Warriors fell to 2-4 despite a 31-point outburst from Noy Remogat.

Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University kept Arellano University winless with an 82-68 decision.

Enoch Valdez made his presence felt all over with 22 points, nine rebounds, and five steals, while Shawn Umali pounded in 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists of his own. Behind them, the Pirates doubled up the Chiefs in the final frame to turn a two-point edge into a second straight win in Group I.

“We had problems at the start but we just want to forget it in the second half, we regrouped and played as a team,” said head coach Gilbert Malabanan, as they now surge following a 1-2 start to the premiere preseason tournament supported by Filoil, EcoOil, Hanes, Akari, Reyes BBQ, BDO, Kalos Sportswear, and Molten.

Joshua Abastillas fronted the effort for the 0-4 Chiefs with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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