Host school University of the East ushered in the seventy-seventh season of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 87-59 win over the University of the Philippines. Dan Alberto led the Red Warriors with 15 points, sinking an outstanding five out of six 3-point baskets. Chris Javier added 12 points and 9 rebounds while Ronnie de Leon and Gino Jumao-As had 10 points apiece.
The first quarter saw a shootout between the school from Recto and the school from Diliman that resulted in a 16-all draw in the final seconds. However, a buzzer beating three from Alberto gave UE the 19-16 edge to close the quarter. The Red Warriors pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring the Fighting Maroons 26-10, following an eight-point explosion from Gino Jumao-As and a barrage of three-point baskets from Alberto. UE would go on to build on their 45-26 halftime edge in the second half, with outstanding performances from Mammie, Sumang, and Jumao-As. A 7-0 run by UE to open the last quarter paved the way for the Red Warriors to build a thirty-point lead in the late fourth quarter, sealing the win for Derrick Pumaren’s squad.
Kyles Lao had 18 points and four steals for the Fighting Maroons. Dave Moralde chipped in 11 points, while Henry Asilum added 8 for the Maroons, who finished with 0-14 in last season’s tournament. The Red Warriors, who finished a dismal sixth with seven wins and seven losses last season, cruise to the early 1-0 lead in the new season’s standings.
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