UE ends 5-year Filoil title drought, stuns NU

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Bring your big heart.

University of the East came through with a fourth quarter performance to remember as it pulled off a mammoth 81-68 upset victory over National U to crown itself champion for the first time in five years in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan City Wednesday.

Trailing by eight after the third quarter, the Warriors turned the tables around by outgunning and outplaying the Bulldogs in the final period, 34-13, to clinch their first crown since reigning supreme in this same tournament five years back.

The Recto-based dribblers also joined the La Salle Archers as the league's most titled schools with a pair.

And it all boiled down to execution.

"I'm no magician," said UE coach Boycie Zamar amid the frantic celebration following his team's dramatic win. "I also told the players before the game to bring their big hearts for us to win and they brought it."

Roy Sumang came through with a near triple-double effort with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists to cap a sterling season with the league Master MVP trophy.

"This individual award will be meaningless if we didn't win the title," said Sumang, who played high school ball for Letran. "Just what I've said, I'm sick and tired of losing so I hope we bring our winning ways in the UAAP."

The last time UE won came five editions ago when Dindo Pumaren coached the team. Interestingly, the last member of that team that is still part of the current squad is JM Noble, who will be playing his last season.

After winning the title, Zamar and the Warriors sets their sights on the forthcoming 76th UAAP season unfolding on June 29 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

"The UAAP is a completely different thing but it’s nice to enter the season with a big victory here," said Zamar.

In contrast, NU ended what could have been a sterling season to a heartbreaker as it amazing 21-game streak dating back from last year's staging came to a screeching halt with this harrowing loss.

It didn't help that Bobby Ray Parks, Jr., the reigning back-to-back UAAP MVP, and Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe fouled out one after the other as early as midway in the fourth canto.

With the two gone, the Bulldogs were never the same as they missed shots that they usually when they swept their way to the finals where they were the easy favorites against the overachieving Warriors.

It ended today.

In the battle for third place, reigning NCAA three-peat champion San Beda turned back Santo Tomas, 74-70.

Baser Amer led his team with 15 points while Rome Dela Rosa, Ola Adeogun, Kyle Pascual and Arthur dela Cruz chipped in 13, 12, 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The senior division's Gatorade Mythical Five members were NU's Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. and Alfred Aroga, Ateneo's Keifer Ravena, UE's Roi Sumang and Adamson's Rodney Brondial.

Aroga was Gatorade Defensive Player.

Earlier, San Beda turned back National U, 64-60, to clinch its fourth straight juniors title in the five years of the league.

Jayvee Mocon, who was named Master Juniors MVP, powered his way to 14 points and 10 rebounds to carry the Red Cubs to the crown.

In women's play, Trish Piatos exploded with 16 points including the game-winning basket with 2.7 seconds to go to lift La Salle to a pulsating 62-60 win over Far Eastern U and clinch the women's crown.

Meanwhile, San Sebastian's Ranzel Yong and Michael Calisaan, National U's Mark Dyke and Letran's Gerdy Alacre joined Mocon in the Gatorade Mythical Five while the women's Gatorade Mythical Five was composed of FEU's Camille Sambile and Vangie Soriano, La Salle's Ara Abaca, UST's Lore Rivera and CEU's Shaddy Ogunsemuyen.

Abaca was the women's Master MVP while Ogunsemuyen the Gatorade Defensive Player.

The scores:

UE 81 - Olivarez 19, Sumang 18, Casajeros 16, Mammie 10, Jumao-as 8, Javier 6, Noble 2, Hernandez 2, Santos 0, Sumido 0, Guion 0, Flores 0

NU 68 - Parks 23, Alolino 12, Mbe 7, Villamor 6, Javillonar 5, Rosario 5, Aroga 5, Alejandro 3, Rono 2, Neypes 0, de Guzman 0

Quarterscores: 14-16; 36-32; 55-47; 81-68

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