Filoil Preseason. Kean Baclaan, NU sends Ateneo to 0-2 start

NU Bulldogs' Ken Balcaan.  - FILOIL PHOTO

NU Bulldogs’ Ken Balcaan. – FILOIL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Kean Baclan scored 26 points as National University held off Ateneo for a 76-69 victory in the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup on Thursday at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan City.

Baklan set the pace for the Bulldogs as he dropped nine points in the first seven minutes during their 20-8 start. The Blue Eagles cut it to four at 26-22, but coach Tab Baldwin was ejected after receiving two straight technicals for continued protests.

Ateneo still tied the game at 57-all late in the third, but Baclean’s triple went on a 12-4 run to take a 69-61 lead with five minutes left in the game.

The Blue Eagles, however, refused to give up a six-point game, 72-66, with 2:30 left in the period, but John Lloyd Clemente and Mike Malonzo finished it off for the Bulldogs. their second straight win to improve to 3-1 in Group II.

“We are far from satisfied. We’re here in pre-season to perfect what we want to do. Fortunately, my players are ready to step up today,” NU coach Jeff Napa said in Filipino. “I know my players will never be happy with their game either.”

Malonzo had eight points and eight rebounds for NU, while Clemente added seven points and Bucklan also had six assists and five rebounds.

Ateneo went on a two-game winless streak after losing to University of the Philippines on Wednesday.

Jared Brown led the Blue Eagles with 13 points, while Jason Credo and Kai Balungay had 10 each.

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin argues with game officials.  - FILOIL PHOTO

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin argues with game officials. – FILOIL PHOTO

In Group I, Perpetual Help University earned its sixth win, an inch closer to a direct quarterfinal berth after defeating Arellano 94-81.

Arthur Roque dropped 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and finished with seven rebounds and three blocks to lead the Altas as JC Abis had a double-double of 13 points and 17 boards to stay atop their group. with 6-1 card.

Arellano remained winless in five games despite Lars Sunga’s 25-point effort off the bench. He made six 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, Far Eastern University banked on Luke Felipe’s 27-point outburst to top Batangas Faith Colleges (95-58) and restore its winning ways in Group 2.

“The team really needs a player like Luke. He is our bottom. He still has a lot to learn, but once he finds his shot, it will keep falling,” said FEU coach Denok Miranda of Felipe, who hit 7 three-pointers.

In addition to Felipe, Rohan Montemayor was also instrumental with 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists to improve to a 2-3 record.

The Bravehearts lost for the sixth time in as many games, even after a 15-point outing from Lloyd Dimalaya.

San Beda overcame a 10-point deficit in the second quarter to beat Emilio Aguinaldo College, 84-78, with Emman Tuggle leading the way with 24 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Transfer Brian Sajonia also shined with 23 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals as the Red Lions improved to 2-3 in Group I play.

“In a sense, I can say that I am satisfied. But again, we are far from the team we want to be. We use the pre-season leagues to give all players a chance to play,” San Beda coach Yuri Escueta said.

Nat Kosejo and Joshua Tolentino each had 16 points for the Generals, who dropped to 2-3.

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