MANILA, Philippines – The University of the East and San Beda College squads shone bright, sending 5 of their 8 teams into the quarterfinals of the first-ever Intercollegiate 3x3 Invitationals Saturday, March 19 at the Xavier School Gym in San Juan.
Three Red Warriors and two Red Lions crews made it to the Elite Eight, where they will be joined by Far Eastern University, Emilio Aguinaldo College and National University in Day 2 on Sunday, March 20 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
UE-A, composed of Bonbon Batiller, Clark Derige, Paul Varilla and Alvin Pasaol, blasted through the competition, winning all 8 of its games from the elimination round to the Sweet 16 in the event organized by Kiefer Ravena’s Rack Sports Management and supported by Mighty Sports.
UE-B (RR De Leon, Edgar Charcos, Renz Palma and Ralph Penuela) and UE-C (Philip Manalang, Jordan Sta. Ana, Seville Poblete and Omar Larupay) will also advance to the quarterfinals. The pairings of which will be determined via draw lots Sunday at 12 pm.
“Talagang nag-usap kami na pride para sa school (We talked about bringing pride to the school),” said Palma, who underscored his stellar performance with a highlight dunk over Jeepy Faundo in the Round of 16.
“Hindi kami mag-kukumpyansa. Focus lang kami na maabot yung championship. Tatlo naman kaming team na nakapasok, so magtutulungan kami (We won't be complacent. We will focus in order to reach the championship. We have 3 teams in so we will help each other).”
Dan Sara, Robert Bolick, Donald Tankua and Davon Potts of San Beda-A also made it, along with San Beda-C’s Raniel Navarro, Joe Presbitero, Jeramer Cabanag and Arnold Noah.
The Generals sent just a single entry of Jozhua General, Jorem Morada, Jeric Diego and Hamadou Laminou, but it was enough to enter the Elite Eight. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ B team of Matt Salem, Issa Gaye, Joshua Sinclair and Michael Pate likewise made it.
The most interesting story of the Sweet 16, however, was the Tamaraws’ A team, as Joe Trinidad, Prince Orizu, Steve Holmqvist and Joseph Nunag overcame a twice-to-win disadvantage to oust FEU-C’s Allen delos Santos, Jeson Delfinado, Kimlee Bayquin and Emeka Nebedum.
A total of 32 teams from UAAP and NCAA schools participated in the tournament endorsed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
The winner gets P200,000, half of which goes to the school while the first runner-up and second runner-up bring home P100,000 and P50,000, with the same split, respectively.
Making it to the pre-quarterfinals are University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Arellano University. – Rappler.com