JUN Manzo led from the front as University of the Philippines scored a come-from-behind 78-72 victory over the Gilas Pilipinas cadets, 78-72, in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup on Tuesday in San Juan.
Manzo came up big in the third quarter as the Maroons stormed back from a 16-point deficit against a Gilas side that looked sharper than usual but again faded in the end.
The Cebuano guard capped his big performance by scoring five in a backbreaking 11-3 rally to end the game as the Maroons gained a big boost of confidence after winning for just the second time in five preseason games.
"That was a something that we can go back (to) every time- a win we need to remember, going against the best of college players and holding our ground no matter what it is," said UP coach Bo Perasol.
"The win is a good boost for us especially for those guys that have helped out like Jun (Manzo), not playing really well in the past, the (De Liano) brothers, si Bright (Akhuetie) and the rest," he added.
Manzo finished with 22 points, most of which came in the huge second half. Juan Gomez de Liano also finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Bright Akhuetie had a double double of 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Arvin Tolentino topscored with 14 points and five boards as Isaac Go had 12 points, but they couldn't save Gilas from falling to the brink of elimination with a 1-4 record.
UP 78 — Ju. Gomez de Liaño 22, Manzo 22, Akhuetie 16, Ja. Gomez de Liaño 6, Vito 3, Lim 2, Murrell 2, Tungcab 2, Gozum 1, Dario 0, Jaboneta 0, Longa 0.
Gilas 72 — A. Tolentino 14, Go 12, R. Rivero 9, Paras 8, Tamayo 7, V. Tolentino 6, Tuffin 5, Mocon 4, P. Rivero 4, Alejandro 3, Ambohot 0.
Quarters: 16-18, 27-41, 53-58, 78-72