The University of the East (UE) Red Warriors pulled through with big shots in overtime to beat the Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions 65-62, and remain undefeated in four games in the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Hanes Premier Cup Wednesday afternoon at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Red Warriors opened up the game with a 7-0 run and kept the lead at their side, 12-7, after a layup by forward Nick Abanto in the 4:36 mark. CEU, meanwhile, closed out the quarter with an 8-3 scoring spree behind Alfred Batino and Jason Opiso to grab the lead, 17-15.
The Scorpions managed to sustain their rhythm in the next frame, erasing a 22-19 deficit to come out on top, 31-24, after baskets from Batino, Rodel De Leon, and Rodrigue Ebondo, with 2:38 left. UE inched within three, 31-28, after a layup by Chirs Javier to close the first half trailing.
From slim three-point lead, CEU widened the gap further to have their first taste of a double-digit lead, 41-29, in the 7:06 mark of the third quarter. However, UE, from a huge 44-31 deficit, stormed back with a 10-4 run to head into the final frame behind by just five, 48-43.
UE notched their trapping defense in the fourth canto, causing CEU to lose their rhythm in the offensive end. From a 56-49 deficit, the Red Warriors clawed their way back to trim CEU’s lead, 58-56, after Paul Varilla sank both of his charities off a De Leon foul with 54.6 seconds left. UE finally pulled even, 58-all, as Varilla sank a pull-up mid-range jumper with 23.3 ticks left. CEU had chances to score to the go-ahead basket, but Ebondo missed a contested triple as time expired, paving the way for an extra period.
CEU got ahead, 60-58, 4:31 into the overtime after Mon Abundo pulled up for a jumper. However, UE with less than two minutes remaining, equalized at 60-all after Chris Javier split both of his free throw attempts. Edson Batiller, coming off the bench, drained a cold-blooded trey from the wing to give UE the lead, 63-60, with 1:37 left. CEU played catch-up ball, making it 63-62 after a Batino lay-up with 51.2 seconds remaining. But UE regained composure prior to end-game, as Batiller once again delivered with a jumper, 65-62, with 33.5 ticks left to help UE preserve their unblemished record.
“We have to give credit to the boys,” said UE Head Coach Derrick Pumaren regarding the team’s victory. “They did not give up. They kept pounding the rock and played good defense, and that’s why we won,” he added.
Batiller shone with 15 points for UE, while Javier added 13 markers and six boards. CEU, in a losing effort, were led by Batino’s 18 and 8.
UE will face DLSU Green Archers this Saturday, May 16, at 5 PM, while CEU will have the SBC Red Lions on Friday at 5 PM.
UE 65 – Batiller 15, Javier 13, Abanto 9, Manalang 8, Awana 5, Varilla 4, Palma 3, Charcos 2, Gonzles 2, De Leon 2, Cudal 2
CEU 62 – Batino 18, De Leon 11, Ebondo 10, Opiso 10, Jeruta 7, Abundo 4, Casino 2
|UE (B, 4-0)||15||28||43||58||65|
|CEU (B, 3-1)||17||31||48||58||62|