UNIVERSITY of the East defeated Mapua, 98-91, on Sunday to keep its quarterfinal bid alive in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.
Bon Batiller had 24 points to lift the Red Warriors to an even 3-3 win-loss record for sixth place in Group B after a game where they trailed by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter.
“I will call this an ugly win but a win is a win,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren. “We still have a shot of making it to the next round. We have been playing with our backs against the wall and I like that because I want them to get used to the pressure.”
UE will face Adamson on Sunday for a quarterfinal berth. The match, incidentally, will see the Pumaren brothers Derrick and Franz facing off for the first time since the latter accepted the Falcons coaching job.
Adamson is in a tie with Ateneo for fourth spot with a 3-2 win-loss card, making the Falcons-Red Warriors match a crucial one.
Exequiel Biteng had 19 points for the Cardinals, who fell to 1-5 after playing for the second consecutive game without a sick Allwell Oraeme.
UE (98) — Batiller 24, Charcos 12, P. Varilla 11, Palma 10, De Leon 10, Acuno 7, Larupay 5, Olayon 4, Pasaol 4, Sta. Ana 3, Armenion 3, Manalang 3, Penuela 2, J. Varilla 0, Bartolome 0, Poblete 0, Gagate 0.
MIT (91) — Biteng 19, Estrella 17, Menina 16, Isit 12, Raflores 9, Gamboa 4, Dela Rosa 4, Bunag 4, Dela Cruz 4, Serrano 2.
Quarters: 20-31, 47-54, 72-75, 98-91.