UNIVERSITY of the East atoned for a sluggish start with a fine finish to repulse Lyceum, 77-64, and stay undefeated early in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
Down at halftime, the Red Warriors picked it up in the second half, especially in a third-quarter breakaway that turned the game around.
Paul Varilla, an incoming sophomore forward seldom used in his rookie year, put up a complete effort of 19 points built around five three-pointers, 13 boards, seven assists, and one steal in 30 minutes to lead the Warriors, who followed up a win against University of Santo Tomas last time.
UE also joined the day’s earlier winner Centro Escolar University on top of Group B with two wins after keeping the Pirates winless after two outings.
“We were able to do things correctly after we made a lot of mistakes in the first half—defensively, rotation, and game plan-wise,” said Warriors coach Derrick Pumaren, whose team outscored the Pirates, 22-8, in the third quarter.
Pumaren also drew significant contribution from Philip Manalang and Dan Alberto, guards who are expected to step up in the absence of Roi Sumang, who chose to forego his final year.
Joseph Gabayni and Wilson Baltazar were the only double-digit scorers for the Topex Robinson-mentored Pirates.
UE 77 – Varilla 19, Manalang 11, Javier 10, Alberto 10, Awana 9, Palma 8, Charcos 8, De Leon 2, Abanto 0, Gonzales 0, Penuela 0, Batiller 0, Cudal 0, Cruz 0, Larupay 0
LPU 64 – Gabayni 10, Baltazar 10, Bulawan 9, Mbida 9, Alanes 5, Zamora 4, Marata 4, Taladua 3, Soliman 2, Nguidjol 2, Lacastesantos 2, Sunga 2, Caduyac 1, Elmejrab 1, Magbuhos 0
14-14, 32-36, 54-44, 77-64