By: Anton Guarina
University of the East downed Arellano University, 58-50, to notch its first win in Group A in the 2022 FilOil Eco Oil Preseason Cup, Wednesday in San Juan City.
The Red Warriors hiked their record to 1-4 while the Chiefs stayed winless in four games played.
Clinging to a 29-28 lead, UE stifled Arellano in the third canto to the tune of just five points. Nikko Paranada, Leon Lorenzana, CJ Payawal, and Abdul Sawat, meanwhile carried the offensive load, giving the Red Warriors a 47-33 lead heading into the final frame.
Troy Valencia tried to power the Chiefs back into the game, helping chop the lead down to six, 56-50, with 42 seconds remaining.
However, Payawal stopped them from their tracks, knocking down a jumper off of a Valencia turnover with 21 ticks left to seal their breakthrough win in the preseason meet — their first win since October 30, 2019, a 79-77 win over National University in the UAAP.
“Ngayon congratulations before kasi good game lang, puro good game lang coach, good game,” said UE head coach Jack Santiago when the Red Warriors attained their first win since UAAP Season 84 “Well, sabi ko nga sa mga boys, it’s been like 17 losses already. 14 nung last season 84 and then three games dito sa FilOil (Preseason Cup).
“And then I also told my boys na let’s change the culture dun sa team. Kasi everytime pag tapos ng game, pag dating namin dun lahat kami malungkot, so this is the first time na pag pasok namin it’s gonna be a different atmosphere” he added.
Paranada finished with 17 points on a 58- percent shooting clip. He also finished with four rebounds and three assists. Payawal and Pagsanjan scored nine points on 4-of-8 and 4-of- 11 shooting from the field, respectively, to go along with five rebounds.
Meanwhile, Valencia paced Arellano with 12 points and five rebounds while Kalen Doromal finished with 10 points and three rebounds.
UE will go up against Mapua University on Friday, 9:00 A.M. still at The Filoil Center in San Juan City, while Arellano University will have a six-day break and will next face the Perpetual Alas on Tuesday at 11:00 A.M., in the same venue.
UE 58 — Paranada N. 17, Pagsanjan 9, Payawal 9, Sawat 6, Abatayo 5, Lorenzana 4, Remogat 4, Beltran 2, Tomas 2, Antiporda 0, Paranada K. 0, Tulabut 0.
Arellano 50 — Valencia 12, Doromal 10, Flores 9, Oftana 6, Punzalan 4, Oliva 4, Menina 3, Mallari 2, Tolentino 0, Mantua 0, Sunga 0, Domingo 0, Talampas 0, Balo 0, Advincula 0.
Quarterscores: 18-16, 29-28, 47-33, 58-50.
The entire 2022 Filoil Ecooil Preseason Cup will stream LIVE on Smart Sports Facebook page