MANILA, Philippines – At last the tables were turned.
The Gilas Pilipinas 2023 cadets finally snapped out of their losing streak by beating the tenacious UE Red Warriors, 63-61, at the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup in San Juan, Tuesday, May 22.
UE started the 4th up 11, 61-50, after back-to-back jumpers from Shan Gagate. Gilas, however, had enough of losing to long rallies and started one of their own.
After an alley-oop layup by Ricci Rivero from new UP teammate Juan Gomez de Liano, Kai Sotto showcased his height with a putback jam. Finally, Gomez de Liano coasted to the rim for the go-ahead bucket, 63-61, on the back of a 13-0 run.
The Red Warriors had one last chance to win the game, but Philip Manalang's triple clanked off at the buzzer. Gilas held UE to just 4 fourth quarter points and scoreless for the last 9 minutes.
After Gilas ended the first quarter with a slight 21-18 lead, the Red Warriors launched a 10-0 run to open the second, 28-21, courtesy of a patented contested triple from Alvin Pasaol and a hesitation layup from Manalang. However, Paras picked up the slack with his streaky shooting, ending the second with a buzzer-beating triple to cut the UE lead to 6, 40-34.
In the other games, the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws sent the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons to their first loss, 75-64.
Earlier, the undefeated College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers coasted over the depleted University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 99-87.
Finally, the first match of the day between the Mapua University (MU) Cardinals and the University of Perpetual Help (UPH) Altas was put on hold because Perpetual was apparently not informed that they had a game today.
Gilas Cadets (63) – Tratter 13, Paras 11, Tolentino V. 8, Rivero 8, Tamayo 8, Gomez de Liano 5, Sotto 5, Alejandro 3, Tolentino A. 2, Gozum 0.
UE (61) – Pasaol 22, Starit 8, Manalang 7, Bartolome 6, Varilla 5, Gagate 4, Antiporda 3, Cullar 3, Conner 2, Acuno 1, Gallardo 0, Sobrevega 0, Lacap 0, Maloles 0, Beltran 0.
Quarter scores: 21-18, 34-40, 50-57, 63-61.
La Salle 4-0
San Beda 2-1