National University snared the 2022 FilOil EcoOil Preseason title by dropping Far Eastern University, 56-46, at San Juan’s Filoil EcoOil Centre on Saturday.
The Jeff Napa-coached squad completed an unbeaten run in the preseason tournament, winning their first FilOil title in 10 years.
Germy Mahinay led the way for the Bulldogs with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Omar John and John Lloyd Clemente added 12 and 10 points each.
Clemente was named the Most Valuable Player. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.0 steals a game.
"Ang sabi ko nga sa kanila agad pagkatapos, there's no need to celebrate. This is just an ordinary game for us. Ang target namin, almost one month na lang. We entered this tournament, in preparation for UAAP talaga," said Napa.
"Yun ang pini-preach namin e. Defense first talaga. Defense ang pinakagusto naming gawin. As coaches, we're happy kasi yung maturity, nandun na."
The Bulldogs first swept the eliminations, 8-0, before ousting San Sebastian in the quarterfinals and beating Adamson U in the semis to set a title showdown with the Tamaraws.
Behind by three, 9-12, after the opening salvo, the Bulldogs pounded it inside to Mahinay who powered through for all but 5 points in a 15-0 outburst that established a 24-12 edge in their favor at the 4:12 mark of the second quarter. That proved to be the pivotal push as the two teams figured in a defensive struggle the rest of the way.
FEU ended up at second place, while De La Salle settled for third.
NU 56 — Mahinay 15, John 12, Clemente 10, Yu 5, Figueroa 3, Minerva 3, Galinato 3, Malonzo 2, Casinillo 2, Padrones 1, Manansala 0, Tibayan 0.
FEU 46 — Sajonia 15, Tchuente 10, Gonzales 5, Tempra 4, Sandagon 4, Songcuya 4, Torres 3, Alforque 1, Bagunu 0, Celzo 0, Gravera 0, Montemayor 0.
Quarterscores: 9-12, 30-22, 42-31, 56-46.