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(c) Filoil


Filoil: Quiambao’s 13 points in final 2 minutes lead La Salle to dramatic win vs UE

Kevin Quiambao showcased his prowess for De La Salle University as he orchestrated a remarkable comeback, propelling the Green Archers to a stunning 77-74 victory over the University of the East Red Warriors in the Filoil Ecooil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup on Tuesday.

The reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player delivered a spectacular performance, contributing 13 of his 24 points in the final two minutes of the game.

With his final shot, he secured La Salle’s third consecutive win.

“Struggling kami sa laro e, pero sinabi ko sa sarili ko at sa teammates ko, wag na wag tayong susuko,” said Quiambao.

Despite trailing by 10 points following a Nico Mulingtapang three-pointer with 2:37 remaining, the resilient Green Archers refused to concede defeat.

Quiambao seized control of the game and started the comeback.

His heroics reached a climax when he converted an and-one opportunity with 16.6 seconds left, leveling the score at 74-all.

Capitalizing on a crucial defensive stop, Quiambao once again assumed responsibility. He sank a three-pointer over Mulingtapang’s outstretched arms to seal the victory.

“It’s a character thing. He didn’t want to lose. Siya nagsasabi sa’min na, ‘Kaya pa yan. Kaya pa yan.’ Kevin won games for us last [UAAP] season. He’ll continue to win games for us now in his last year in college,” said assistant coach Caloy Garcia, who filled in for Topex Robinson after being ejected in the game.

Jonnel Policarpio backstopped Quiambao with 18 points, while Henry Agunanne added 14 points and six rebounds.

Lian Ramiro also made his Green Archers debut, tallying five points, two rebounds, and two assists in 17 minutes of action.

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Despite Mulingtapang’s breakout performance of 16 points for the Red Warriors, it proved insufficient as they suffered their third defeat, falling to a 2-3 record.

Precious Momowei, who fouled out late in the game, was limited to just 10 points and six rebounds.

Meanwhile, Emilio Aguinaldo College came back with a vengeance at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University, securing a 93-81 victory.

Trailing by three points at halftime, the Generals detonated a 29-10 blast to snatch the momentum and establish a 16-point margin, 79-63, entering the final frame.

They wouldn’t look back the rest of their way to their fourth win in five games – still tops in the NCAA bracket of the tournament co-presented by Bostik El Heneral and ABC Tile Adhesive, with Smart Sports, Strong Group Athletics, and Hanes as major sponsors.

Harvey Pagsanjan, finally playing following his transfer from UE, fronted the attack with 14 markers alongside two assists and two steals.

JC Luciano also contributed 10 markers with five boards to ensure EAC got back into its groove after a 66-73 defeat at the Heavy Bombers’ hands last Monday.

College of Saint Benilde then claimed solo second after Tony Ynot and Allen Liwag shot their side over JRU, winning 86-80.

Ynot did it all with 24 points, five assists, three rebounds, and three steals, while Liwag dominated down low with a 23-marker, 11-board double-double to lead the Blazers’ rise to 3-1.

The preseason showcase is also supported by Athletics as official outfitter and Molten as official game ball, as well as minor sponsors Reyes Barbecue, KFC, Brothers Burger, Wallem Philippines Shipping, Harbor Star Shipping Services, Akari, Jiang Nan Hotpot, and KantiGo Sports.

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Colegio de San Juan de Letran, meantime, fended off gutsy Arellano University, securing an 80-75 win for its third win in a row after a 0-2 start.

Behind Charles Dimaano, the Knights mounted a lead of as much as 25 and were still ahead 74-64 inside the last five minutes.

However, the Chiefs battled back to as near as one, 75-76, with 13 ticks to go thanks to an 11-2 rush.

Letran prized rookies Jonathan Manalili and Jovel Baliling then made all four of their free throws to keep Arellano at bay once and for all.

The two combined for 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists to backstop Dimaano who had 14 markers and seven boards.

Basti Valencia topped the scoring column for the Chiefs with 19 points, while Dom Dayrit chipped in 14 markers and seven rebounds. They dropped to a similar 3-2 slate.

In a three-way tie for third alongside Letran and Arellano is San Beda University, which stamped its class all over University of Perpetual Help with a 75-44 victory.

RC Calimag was hot with 14 points built on four triples as former Adamson High School stalwart JC Bonzaliza impressed in his Red Lions debut with 14 markers.

For the 3-3 Altas, Christian Pagaran was the lone bright spot with 17 points; for the 1-3 Heavy Bombers, Mart Barrera and Joshua Guiab scored 19 and 13 markers, respectively; and for the 1-4 Pirates, Mac Guadana and Simon Penafiel fired 16 markers apiece.

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