UNIVERSITY of the Philippines got an early glimpse of its bright future with its 80-72 victory over Mapua in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup on Friday in San Juan.
Newcomers Ibrahim Quattata, Jun Manzo and Juan Gomez de Liano all played a hand in the Fighting Maroons' gutsy win over the Cardinals in their preseason debut.
The three conspired in UP's 12-4 run to end the game after Allmell Orquina tied the knot at 68 with less than five minutes to go.
Quattara and De Liano exchanged baskets with the Cardinals before Manzo wrapped things up with back- to-back baskets in the final minute to put the final nail in Mapua's coffin.
"Malaking bagay na na-add sila dun sa line-up namin. To think that we've added a very good dimension to our point guard position and the big man position din kay Ibrahim and then nagkaron din kami ng another attacker with Juan," said UP coach Bo Perasol.
"Parang in every position nagkaron kami ng additional personnel who's going to make us better. But I really feel like we're still very far from what we want to be going in the tournament," he added.
Quattara, a foreign reinforcement from Mali, had 16 points and 14 rebounds, to lead the Fighting Maroons. Manzo added 13, de Liano finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists as Paul Desiderio chipped in 10.
Laurence Victoria had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Cardinals who dropped to 0-4 for the tournament.
UP 80 - Quattara 16, Manzo 13, Ju. De Liano 12, Desiderio 10, Prado 6, Dario 6, Lao 5, Ja. De Liano 4, Lim 4, Ricafort 2, Vito 2, Harris 0
MAPUA 72 - Victoria 14, Raflores 10, Bunag 8, Magboo 8, Gabo 8, Estrella 7, Orquina 7, Biteng 6, Pelayo 4, Serrano 0, Nieles 0, Gamboa 0, Aguirre 0
Quarters: 23-20; 36-40; 54-61; 80-72