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Maroons disarm Archers in Filoil Preseason Cup opener

MANILA, Philippines -- The University of the Philippines drubbed La Salle, 89-77, in a rematch between UAAP finalists to open the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup in style over the weekend at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

JD Cagulangan and Francis Lopez connived as the Fighting Maroons exacted some payback on the Green Archers after a runner-up finish to the same team in the UAAP Season 86 finals late last year.

UP also handed La Salle, even with the presence of Kevin Quiambao, its first loss in any preseason leagues this summer after a 9-0 perfect championship run in the PBA D-League and an unbeaten 4-0 start in the Pinoy Liga thus far.

Cagulangan tallied 19 points, three assists and three steals while Lopez had 16 points, four assists and three steals with new reinforcement Dikachi Ududo in place of former ace Malick Diouf piling up six points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

“Alam nating first game pa lang ito pero seeing the players respond, ok na ok sa akin yun. Ang importante sakin is getting the exposure we need for all our players, especially against La Salle pa," said head coach Goldwin Monteverde.

Reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Quiambao had 15 points, while PBA D-League MVP Mike Phillips and also new foreign student-athlete Henry Agunanne added 13 points apiece for the wards of coach Topex Robinson.

Meanwhile, Josh Tagala fired 20 points as NCAA champion San Beda trounced rival Letran, 76-69, even without NCAA Finals MVP James Payosing and star forward Yukien Andrada.

In other games, Mapua beat Lyceum, 75-67; University of Perpetual Help under new head coach Olsen Racela escaped Jose Rizal University in double overtime; 91-89, while University of the East took down Adamson, 65-57.