University of the East and San Beda squads shone bright, sending five of the eight teams in the quarterfinals of the first-ever Intercollegiate 3×3 Invitationals Saturday, March 19 at the Xavier School Gym in San Juan.
Three Red Warriors and two Red Lions crews made it to the Elite Eight, where they will be joined by Far Eastern University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, and National University in Day 2 on Sunday, March 20 at the SM MOA Music Hall.
UE-A, composed of Bonbon Batiller, Clark Derige, Paul Varilla, and Alvin Pasaol, blasted through the competition, winning all eight of their games from the elimination round to the Sweet 16 in the event organized by Kiefer Ravena’s Rack Sports Management and supported by Mighty Sports.
UE-B of RR De Leon, Edgar Charcos, Renz Palma and Ralph Penuela, and UE-C, backstopped by Philip Manalang, Jordan Sta. Ana, Seville Poblete, and Omar Larupay will also advance to the quarterfinals, pairings of which will be determined via random draw on Sunday at 12:00pm.
“Talagang nag-usap kami na pride para sa school,” said Palma, who underscored his stellar performance with a highlight dunk over Jeepy Faundo in the Round of 16. “Di kami mag-kukumpyansa. Focus lang kami na maabot yung championship. Tatlo naman kaming team na nakapasok, so magtutulungan kami.”
Dan Sara, Robert Bolick, Donald Tankua, and Davon Potts of San Beda-A also made it, along with San Beda-C’s Raniel Navarro, Joe Presbitero, Jeramer Cabanag, and Arnold Noah.
The Generals sent just a single entry of Jozhua General, Jorem Morada, Jeric Diego, and Hamadou Laminou, but it was enough to enter the Elite Eight. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ B team of Matt Salem, Issa Gaye, Joshua Sinclair, and Michael Pate, likewise, made it.
The most interesting story of the Sweet 16, however, was the Tamaraws’ A team, as Joe Trinidad, Prince Orizu, Steve Holmqvist, and Joseph Nunag overcame a twice-to-win disadvantage to oust FEU-C’s Allen delos Santos, Jeson Delfinado, Kimlee Bayquin, and Emeka Nebedum.
Making it to the pre-quarterfinals are University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Arellano University.
The final stage of the tournament is set to be played on Sunday, March 20 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
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