Lyceum of the Philippines University and University of the East (UE) both registered bounce-back wins in the 2022 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup by beating their respective opponents on Tuesday at San Juan's Filoil EcoOil Centre.
The Pirates sent a statement win via a 79-69 stunner against back-to-back NCAA champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
Ato Barba tallied an all-around 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, while Renzo Navarro and Maverick Venoya also added 13 markers apiece in Lyceum's bounce-back into the win column now at 4-1.
"First of all, sinasabi ko lang lagi sa players ko na every game namin, we have to honor the game. 'Yun 'yung important kasi mabi-build namin 'yung magandang culture namin by winning. Let's start winning this preseason para by [NCAA] season, magiging habit na," said head coach Gilbert Malabanan as they moved to solo second in Group B.
Barba came up clutch in the last 7 minutes as he accounted for 8 points, including back-to-back threes, in his side's 14-2 finishing kick. At the other end, he and his teammates suffocated the Knights to just seven points in the final frame.
"Actually, lahat naman silang players ko, lagi kong sinasabihang huwag makampante. Kaya kagabi, nakita ko siyang nag-extra work, lalo na sa weakness niyang shooting," said Malabanan of his second-year swingman who accounted for 3 of their 10 triples.
For Letran, King Caralipio topscored with 13 points. Running out of gas in the pivotal period, however, they got their first taste of defeat in three games.
Meanwhile, the UE Red Warriors fanned their playoff hopes after a 70-63 upset of Adamson University.
Even without top gun Harvey Pagsanjan and even after falling victim to a 15-2 start by the Soaring Falcons, UE found a way behind Paranada brothers Kyle, who had 14 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds, and Nikko, who had 10 markers of his own.
"Ang game plan namin, just like, I guess, Adamson, is to give our other players a chance to play. Nag-step up lang talaga 'yung mga off the bench ko. Mas maganda ang naging resulta," said head coach Jack Santiago, as they won their third in the last four games for an overall 3-4 record.
LPU 79 -- Barba 22, Navarro 13, Venoya 13, Guadana 8, Bravo 6, Umali 6, Larupay 4, Penafiel 4, Cunanan 3, Montano 0, Villegas 0, Aviles 0, Caduyac 0.
LETRAN 69 -- Caralipio 13, Paraiso 10, Reyson 10, Ariar 9, Bataller 7, Go 6, Guarino 5, Olivario 5, Tolentino 4, Gaviola 0, Oliva 0.
Quarters: 20-20, 43-37, 59-62, 79-69.
UE 70 -- K. Paranada 14, Lorenzana 12, Sawat 11, Payawal 11, N. Paranada 10, Remogat 5, Guevarra 4, Abatayo 2, Beltran 1, Lingo-Lingo 0.
ADAMSON 63 -- Manzano 15, Lastimosa 14, Torres 9, Maata 8, Manlapaz 6, Douanga 5, V. Magbuhos 3, Hanapi 2, W. Magbuhos 1, Erolon 0, Dignadice 0, Jaymalin 0.
Quarters: 14-18, 42-21, 56-43, 70-63.