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Filoil: Baclaan rallies NU back, stomps Adamson for first win


Kean Baclaan made all the right plays when it mattered most, and National University made the most of its depth in a hard-fought 58-54 win against Adamson University in the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup on Sunday in San Juan.

Baclaan got 10 points and four assists, none bigger than a three and then a setup for a Jake Figueroa layup that erased a one-point deficit inside the last two minutes and erected a 58-54 lead with 45 seconds remaining.

“Lagi lang namang sinasabi ng mga coach na kailangan kong maging leader para sa’min. Napakita ko naman yun kanina,” said the third-year guard, who fronted a bench effort that totaled 28 points.

The Bullpups’ defense stood strong from there, as Baclaan, Figueroa, and Rein Jumamoy challenged long-range attempts from Joem Sabandal, Eli Ramos, and Joshua Yerro to wrap up their statement win in their Group 2 opener.

“Kami naman sa NU, defensive identity talaga ang pini-preach namin. Happy naman kami sa naging resulta today. Sigurado, happy rin si coach Jeff kasi nanonood yun,” said acting coach Kevin Dela Cruz, filling in for Jeff Napa who’s in the U.S. for a recruitment trip.

Omar John also added nine points and 11 rebounds, anchoring National U’s trademark tenacious defense that limited the still-Jerom Lastimosa-less Soaring Falcons to 23-of-63 shooting from the field.

In the stead of the newly-named Gilas Pilipinas playmaker, Sabandal topped the scoring column for 1-1 Adamson with 11 points.

Meanwhile, the University of Perpetual Help gained early leadership in Group 1 after a 75-58 rout of San Beda University.

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Christian Pagaran dropped 17 points built on three treys, to go with four rebounds off the bench, as the Altas nailed their second win in as many outings.

Carlo Ferreras also chipped in 11 points for coach Myk Saguiguit who drew 45 points from his reserves.

“Malayo pa kami sa gusto naming marating, pero maganda na rin na nakakakuha kami ng mga ganitong klaseng panalo laban sa mga tulad ng San Beda,” said Saguiguit.

In the first game, Centro Escolar University stamped its class all over debuting Faith College of Batangas, 107-60.

The Scorpions put down their stingers from the get-go, going on an 11-0 run in the first three minutes before ending the opening period at 32-8. Their margin widened to as big as 49 in their first win in Group 2 of the premier preseason tourney backed by Filoil, EcoOil, Hanes, Akari, Reyes BBQ, BDO, Kalos Sportswear, and Molten.

“Happy kami kasi first game, first win namin sa Filoil, but we’re not too happy pa rin kasi marami pa kaming learnings na kahaharapin,” said Franz Diaz, the new skipper of a side coming off a season sweep of the Universities and Colleges Basketball League, after tallying 15 points, six assists, and three rebounds.

“We want to prove that CEU isn’t just a team that’s happy to be here. We also want to compete,” added new head coach Jeff Perlas, as CEU returned to the Filoil Preseason for the first time since 2019.

Lyceum of the Philippines University also blazed to a fast start in Group 1 after running right through Jose Rizal University, 77-65.

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Enoch Valdez delivered the goods, as usual, with 18 points, six rebounds, six steals, two assists, and a block, while Shawn Umali contributed 15 points of his own.

The Heavy Bombers and Bravehearts both began their campaigns at 0-1.

The Scores:

First Game:
CEU 107 – Santos 15, Diaz 15, Tolentino 13, Bernabe 13, Balogun 12, Cruz 8, Cabotaje 7, Joson 6, Malicana 4, Penano 4, Anagbogu 3, Javier 3, Ferrer 2, Reyes 2, Puray 0
Faith 60 – Dimawala 29, Llamado 7, Torrato 5, JM Millares 4, Fernado 4, De Castro 4, Villamor 3, Quiros 2, Manipol 2, Navarez 0, Roxas 0, Millares 0, JG Torrato 0, Rabino 0
Quarterscores: 32-8, 56-26, 80-46, 107-60

Second Game:
LPU 77 – Valdez 18, Umali 15, Villegas 10, Barba 10, Penafiel 6, Bravo 6, Omandac 6, Montano 4, Aviles 1, Cunanan 0, Caduyac 0, Garro 0, Daileg 0
JRU 65 – Dela Rosa 20, Barrera 13, Medina 8, Sarmiento 7, Ramos 5, Pablico 4, Raymundo 3, Argente 2, Sy 2, Lu 1, De Leon 0, Mosqueda 0, Bongay 0
Quarterscores: 19-19, 40-33, 55-52, 77-65

Third Game:
Perpetual 75 – Pagaran 17, Ferreras 11, Roque 9, Nitura 9, Sevilla 7, Boral 6, Movida 6, Nunez 4, Barcuma 4, Abis 2, Ramirez 0, Orgo 0, Gelsano 0, Razon 0
San Beda 58- Puno 12, Visser 10, Andrada 7, Teruel 7, Etulle 6, Sajonia 4, Royo 3, Tagle 3, Payosing 3, Alloso 3
Quarterscores: 21-12, 33-30, 58-45, 75-58

Fourth Game:
NU 58 – Baclaan 10, John 9, Malonzo 6, Palacielo 6, Jumamoy 5, Galinato 5, Figueroa 4, Clemente 3, Enriquez 3, Manansala 3, Yu 2, Gulapa 2, Lim 0, Parks 0, Libang 0, Casinillo 0
Adamson 54 – Sabandal 11, Colonia 9, Yerro 6, Manzano 5, Anabo 5, Magbuhos 4, Ramos 4, Montebon 2, Barasi 2, Barcelona 2, Ignacio 2, Canete 2, Torres 0, Fuentebella 0
Quarterscores: 11-9, 26-22, 46-38, 58-54

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