NATIONAL University nipped University of the Philippines, 74-72, to become the lone unbeaten team in Group A of the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup.
JD Cagulangan failed to reprise the championship-winning play for the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP this year by missing a stepback triple in the dwindling seconds as the Bulldogs escaped with their fourth straight win.
“We are just here to compete. Whatever the result, may natutunan kami. We are here to learn,” said NU coach Jeff Napa. “Napunta sa dulo ang suwerte, binuwenas lang kami.”
The loss ended UP’s perfect five-game run.
La Salle also became the remaining undefeated squad in Group B, extending its perfect run to three games following a 88-65 romp of Lyceum of the Philippines University.
College of Saint Benilde won back-to-back Group B games while halting University of the East’s modest two-game winning streak with a well-earned 72-63 victory.
King Caralipio and Brent Paraiso teamed up for 36 points as reigning NCAA champion Letran nipped Far Eastern University, 72-70, for its second straight win in Group B.
Earlier, Cedrick Manzano posted a double-double outing of 26 points and 12 rebounds as Adamson rout Mapua, 85-69, to get back in the win column in the other Group A match at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
John Lloyd Clemente had 15 points, including a free throw in the final 10 seconds that gave the Bulldogs the two-point lead, while LA Casinillo added 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Carl Tamayo had a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds to go with four steals and two assists while Zavier Lucero added 10 points for the Fighting Maroons.
Mike Phillips had 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists, Joaqui Manuel contributed 12 points, nine boards and two assists, while Kevin Quiambao also had 12 points to go with four assists, three rebounds and two steals for the Green Archers.
The Pirates, led by Mac Guadaña’s 19 points, absorbed their first loss after opening the tournament with three consecutive wins.
Will Gozum scored 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Miggy()’fj0⁰ Corteza contributed in 15 markers and six rebounds for the Blazers.
“I’m happy with their effort. They bounced back. We’re a lot sharper in these back-to-back wins,” said coach Charles Tiu, as CSB improved to 3-2 overall.
Manzano shot 13-of-15 from the field, and had five blocks, carrying the Falcons to a 4-1 record in the group.
“The challenge really for the team is how to fast track yung improvement. Hindi madali, especially we rotate a lot of players,” said Adamson coach Nash Racela.
“Pero, yeah, small progress is still progress. So sa amin it’s a welcome development. As long as we see them improve day-to-day, we’ll be okay I think.”
Jerom Lastimosa and Ray Allen Torres contributed 15 and 11 points respectively, the Falcons.
The Cardinals, who drew 22 points from Brian Lacap, fell to 0-3.