It was an action-packed Friday in the 12th Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup presented by Chooks-to-Go as the top teams fought hard to keep their winning streaks.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles and DLSU Green Archers kept in step with each other after notching identical perfect records.
But the UP Fighting Maroons caught the biggest win of the day with their stunning victory over NCAA powerhouse San Beda Red Lions.
Here are the complete results on Friday:
UE def. NU, 78-74
Fresh from their disappointing finish on Thursday, the UE Red Warriors bounced back in a big way as they trounced the NU Bulldogs, 78-74.
Alvin Pasaol, UE's ever-reliable scorer, had 22 points and filled the stats sheet with 14 rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Aside from Pasaol, the Red Warriors also got a huge boost from Reymark Acuno who had 20 points and seven rebounds.
"Well, first off, when I started to take over, what I told them was to compete," said new head coach Joe Silva. "Let's show that Warrior pride. I told them at halftime, we've been clawing and going toe-to-toe with our opponents that is why we deserve to win."
UE lost to the UP Fighting Maroons on Thursday but with their win over NU, they have improved to a 3-4 standing.
Rookie Dave Ildefonso led the young Bulldogs with 14 points, including two triples. Friday's game was the second loss for NU in less than 24 hours as they were walloped by the Ateneo Blue Eagles the night before.
Ateneo def. UPHSD, 83-59
There's no stopping the Ateneo Blue Eagles as they reached their sixth straight win following their 83-59 rout over the University of Perpetual Help Altas.
"We're working primarily on the stuff that we've been practicing. We just want to see the fruits of it today," beamed coach Sandy Arespacochaga. "We are also looking at whether we can sustain the defense we have been doing the past few games."
Brothers Mike and Matt Nieto combined for 30 points while Angelo Kouame had a double-double 17 points and 11 boards. Ateneo is coming off another rout the previous night with their 34-point drubbing over the NU Bulldogs.
"We're not really looking at the points," Matt Nieto humbly mentioned. "We're still trying to figure out our roles as players. The win is just a bonus."
The reigning UAAP champions continue to pace group A with a 6-0 record.
Kim Aurin led a valiant effort with 18 points and six rebounds but it was not enough to give the Altas their first win in the preseason.
La Salle def. Mapua, 102-95
Just as Ateneo kept their record spotless, the DLSU Green Archers remained perfect as well, earning their sixth straight after getting the comeback victory over the Mapua Cardinals, 102-95.
The Green Archers found themselves in a dire spot as they trailed by as much as 15 points midway through the period.
"It's a character game but not in the sense that we were able to come back from the deficit," explained head coach Louie Gonzalez. "It's a character game that I'm preaching that we have to be disciplined. It will not be easy for us."
Fiery point guard Aljun Melecio topscored for his squad with 25 points anchored by five three-pointers. With the help of Melecio, La Salle was able to overcome a 34-point explosion from Mapua's Exe Biteng.
"Entering the game, we really highlighted Biteng. Watching their game, this kid has earned a whole lot of trust from coach Atoy (Co)," said Gonzalez.
La Salle joins Ateneo with a pristine 6-0 record while Mapua settles for a 3-3 card.
UP def. San Beda, 56-54
The UP Fighting Maroons scored another huge win as they got the upper hand against the reigning NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions, 56-54.
Javi Gomez de Liaño was the hero of the ball game as he was able to hit the go-ahead basket with 18.5 seconds left.
"Our emphasis is that when you when you go up against a champion team, a team that just came from a training camp in the US, we all know that their confidence is very high. I just challenged them," coach Bo Perasol said about their matchup against the Red Lions.
It was a balanced effort for the Fighting Maroons with Bright Akhuetie and De Liaño pitching in with 10 points apiece. De Liaño's basket gave his team a slim 55-54 lead and Diego Dario added the finishing touches with a free throw as San Beda failed to convert on offense.
"How are we going to beat a champion team? We just agreed: play on defense, just get on to the next play," Perasol shared. "When we rallied against them, that's exactly happened. We made stops, we made layups in transitions."
Javee Mocon tallied 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists for the now 2-2 Red Lions.
On the other hand, UP hasn't slowed down, winning their sixth consecutive victory after losing their first three games.
"I'm really proud of what we accomplished, beating a strong team like San Beda," beamed Perasol.
Great game today at FilOil. UP Fighting Maroons defeat the San Beda Red Lions, 56-54. Javi Gomez De Liano with the go ahead basket with 18.5 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/ENqaPxPgTQ— Yoyo Sarmenta (@yo_sarmenta) June 1, 2018