UNIVERSITY of the Philippines-Integrated School outlasted defending champion Chiang Kai Shek College in double overtime, 94-90, to jumpstart its title bid in the 8th SMART- Philippine Chinese Amateur Basketball League Freego Cup recently at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy gym in Quezon City.
John Gregorio, Javi De Llano and Allane Barles combined for eight points in the second five-minute extension to pull off the biggest surprise in an opening day filled with upsets.
Both teams played minus key players – some of them members of the Philippine Under-16 team seeing action in the Seaba tournament that opened on Tuesday in Cagayan de Oro City.
In the absence of top gunner Will Gozum, it was Gregorio and De Llano who led the way for UPIS by scoring 20 and 19 points, respectively. De Llano emerged as the Freego Player of the game as he also tallied 16 boards.
It was Barles who struck hardest in second overtime, scoring four of his 13 points that all but finally took the fight out of the Blue Dragons who showed up with only seven players.
Also getting off to a fine start in the tournament also backed by Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Hapee Toothpaste, Insular Square (Cebu), Fed Seal, K TechSports Inc., and New Pioneer Auto Supply (Cebu) was Arellano University which surprised Far Eastern University, 88-86.
AMA University outlasted Letran, 60-57, and De La Salle-Zobel, got 22 points from Aljun Melecio to crush Perpetual Help, 80-59.
Guilmer dela Torre knocked in 16 points to lead Arellano’s well-balanced attack. Three other Arellano players scored in double figures. De la Torre was also named best player of the game