MANILA - De La Salle University is assured of a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup after a 75-47 rout of San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
After losing in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup earlier in the day, the Green Archers were determined to earn a bounce-back win.
They opened the game with nine straight points and led 19-4 late in the first quarter. La Salle would not be threatened the rest of the way as they claimed their fifth win in as many games in the preseason tilt.
"I have to give it to the boys. We were ready for the two games today. And we played hard," said head coach Derick Pumaren, as they wasted no time moving on from their eight-point loss to Adalem Construction-St. Clare.
Still spotless and alone atop the Group B leaderboard, La Salle assured themselves of a spot in the crossover quarterfinals. Ice Blanco topped the scoring column with 16 points, while Penny Estacio also added 10 markers of his own.
The Golden Stags - who also played in the PBA D-League earlier in the day - were led by Liam Concha and Milo Janao who had 19 and 16 points, respectively. Missing stalwarts such as Itchie Altamirano and Paeng Are, they fell to 2-2.
In the other game, Adamson University got back on track while also dealing a second straight defeat to erstwhile top team University of the Philippines, 71-64.
Jerom Lastimosa led the way for the Soaring Falcons with 14 points, four rebounds and two steals, while running mate Joem Sabandal contributed 14 markers of his own along with three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Adamson improved to a 5-3 standing in to end the elimination round.
"It's a good win for us, but I remember, end of third quarter, during one of the timeouts, I told them, 'There's too much celebration going on. Wala pang dapat i-celebrate. We should celebrate the right things,'" said head coach Nash Racela as they took control right from tip-off with a 5-0 blast and never looked back.
The Fighting Maroons got to within seven points, 59-66, in the final three minutes, and got a break when Lastimosa headed to the bench due to fatigue. But Sabandal was there to take over, and he scored five unanswered to re-establish a 71-59 edge with 1:54 remaining.
"Nung nakita naming si Jerom, pagod na, grinab ko nalang yung opportunity, taking it as a challenge. Matagal na akong 'di nagpo-point guard, ngayon lang ulit, happy naman ako nagampanan ko yun," said Sabandal after they recovered from back-to-back defeats in Group A.
Malick Diouf fronted the effort for 5-2 State U with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double.