Mike Phillips and Evan Nelle teamed up for a big second half to propel De La Salle University past San Beda University, 61-53, in the 2022 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup in San Juan on Sunday.
With the win, the Green Archers now hold a 2-0 record in the preseason tourney.
Unable to get going in the first two quarters and down six at halftime, La Salle turned it on in the third period, going on a 22-5 outburst to mount a 39-29 lead, all of a sudden.
"We cannot play that way; out of system, missing our shots. Good thing, we were able to correct it. Second half, na-realize nilang we continue with that," said acting head coach Gabby Velasco.
Phillips outworked all his opponents to the tune of 9 points and 4 rebounds, while Nelle proved a thorn on the side of his former team with 5 markers of his own in the third quarter.
"I was preparing for this game since I saw the schedule. I guess that's what took me out of rhythm sa simula. Buti na lang, nakabawi naman," said Nelle, who suited up for two seasons in San Beda before transferring to Taft Ave.
The Red Lions, guided by new head coach Yuri Escueta, still made a game out of it and went on their own 17-5 rush to retake the lead, 45-44, with seven minutes left.
Phillips and Nelle had the quick counter, however, and connived for seven points in an 11-1 run for a 55-46 advantage in La Salle’s favor with 2:45 remaining.
In the end, Phillips had a 14-point, 19-rebound double-double, while Nelle had 10 markers, 2 boards, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.
James Kwekuteye fronted the effort for San Beda with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
LA SALLE 63 -- Phillips M 14, Austria 13, Manuel 11, Nelle 10, Quiambao 3, Abadam 3, Phillips B 3, Estacio 2, Escandor 2, Macalalag 0, Buensalida 0, Nwankwo 0, Cortez 0
SAN BEDA 61 -- Kwekuteye 10, Tagle 9, Andrada 6, Bahio 6, Gallego 5, Cuntapay 4, Cortez 3, Cometa 3, Tagala 2, Llanera 2, Payosing 2, Jopia 1, Sanchez 0, Alfaro 0, Visser 0
Quarters: 5-8, 17-23, 42-37, 61-53