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Tamaraws keep Blue Eagles grounded

Cholo Anonuevo backs Xyrus Torres in leading FEU past winless Ateneo. (Photo courtesy of FilOil EcoOil)

Xyrus Torres flexed his crunch time flair as Far Eastern University weathered a late storm brought by Ateneo de Manila University, 60-54, Friday for its third consecutive victory in the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Torres dropped nine of his 14 points in the last eight minutes to make sure the Tamaraws kept within striking distance for a quarterfinals seat.

Cholo Anonuevo then chipped in 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists for FEU, which improved to a 4-3 win-loss slate at solo fifth in Group II.

“I always remind them to play tough defense. We win because of our defense. Even if we struggle on offense as long as we show effort on defense we will win,” head coach Denok Miranda said.

Aside from Torres, no other FEU player scored in the last eight minutes except for Patrick Sleat whose breakaway layup with 5.8 seconds left sealed the deal.

The Tamaraws’ defense, however, stood strong and forced five turnovers and four misses by the Blue Eagles in the same timeframe.

FEU kept the Blue Eagles winless in four outings. Kai Ballungay was the lone Ateneo player in double-digits with 13 points on top of nine rebounds and two assists.

Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University stretched its streak to five thanks to a smooth-sailing 81-67 triumph over San Beda University.

The Pirates used a 35-point third quarter to run away from the Red Lions all the way to solo second in Group I of the premiere preseason tournament backed by Filoil, EcoOil, Hanes, Akari, Reyes BBQ, BDO, Kalos Sportswear, and Molten.

John Barba captained the pivotal period and totaled 22 points, while Enoch Valdez also added 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

LPU (6-2) can secure a slot in the next round with a win on Monday against College of St. Benilde (5-2), which is in a three-team logjam with Mapua University and Colegio de San Juan de Letran at the third- and fourth-spots.

San Beda, on the other hand, is eliminated with its fifth loss in eight tries. James Payosing showed the way for them with 12 points.

Kevin Santos saved the day for Letran as they rallied by Emilio Aguinaldo College, 55-53.

Inserted with the tally tied at 66-all with 4.9 ticks to go, Santos cleaned up the mess from Kurt Reyson’s high-looping scoop shot to provide the game-winner for the now-5-2 Knights. Those were his only points to go along with six rebounds.

Letran wouldn’t have come back from as much as 16 points down if not for Pao Javillonar’s 15-point, 10-rebound double-double as well as Nicko Fajardo’s 13 points, four assists, and three rebounds.

For the Generals, Nat Cosejo put forth a strong showing of 22 points and six rebounds only to see his side lose their third in a row and fifth overall out of seven games.

National University barged back into the win column courtesy of a 45-point beatdown on Centro Escolar University, 105-60.

Kean Baclaan pumped in 16 points, two assists, and two rebounds, including eight straight points in a 19-8 burst that blew the game wide open from a 7-all deadlock to a 26-15 edge for the Bulldogs late in the first quarter.

Mark Anagbogu paced the Scorpions with 16 points, even as they absorbed their sixth loss in a row following a tourney-opening win.



First game

Letran (55) – Javillonar 15, Fajardo 13, Reyson 12, Cuajao 10, Go 4, Bojorcelo 4, Tolentino 2, Santos 2, Alarcon 2, Ariar 2, Morales 2, Nunag 0

EAC (53) – Cosejo 22, Luciano 10, Maguliano 9, Robin 7, Gurtiza 5, Cosa 5, Balowa 4, Ochavo 3, Angeles 1, Umpad 0, Dominguez 0, Bacud 0

Quarters: 15-17, 25-34, 41-49, 68-66


Second game

NU (105) – Baclaan 16, Clemente 16, Padrones 10, Enriquez 9, Gulapa 9, Malonzo 9, Figueroa 9, Manansala 8, Abiera 6, Palacielo 4, John 2, Yu 2, Lim 2, Parks 1

CEU (60) – Anagbogu 16, Ferrer 7, Tolentino 6, Santos 6, Puray 5, Balogun 4, Malicana 4, Javier 4, Reyes 4, Penano 2, Cabotaje 2, Dela Cruz 0, Borromeo 0, Diaz 0, Bernabe 0

Quarters: 26-17, 48-30, 77-43, 105-60


Third game

LPU (81) – Barba 22, Valdez 15, Montano 11, Omandac 10, Cunanan 9, Alattica 5, Umali 4, Villegas 2, Aviles 2, Penafiel 1, Guadana 0, Versoza 0

San Beda (67) – Payosing 12, Tagle 10, Sajonia 9, Andrada 9, Cortez 8, Visser 6, Etulle 4, Royo 3, Puno 3, Dimaculangan 3, Tagala 0

Quarters: 22-13, 36-34, 71-58, 81-67


Fourth game

FEU (60) – Torres 14, Anonuevo 12, Montemayor 8, Sleat 7, Pasaol 6, Ona 6, Bagunu 4, Songcuya 3, Faty 0, Macapagal 0, Buenaventura 0

Ateneo (54) – Bongo 13, Obasa 8, Credo 6, Bongo 6, Espinosa 5, Quitevis 5, Chiu 4, Lazaro 4, Nieto 3, Garcia 0, Brown 0

Quarters: 16-15, 30-23, 45-42, 60-54

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