Kai debuts for Gilas cadets, delivers much-needed win

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 22, 2018 09:21 PM
Kai debuts for Gilas cadets, delivers much-needed win
Kai Sotto energized the Gilas cadets past very game UE

Nothing much was going right for the Gilas cadets in their matchup against University of the East on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

That was until Kai Sotto entered the court.

Sotto was a difference-maker on both ends in the last nine minutes while Ricci Rivero and Juan Gomez de Liano came through in the endgame as the national team rallied from 11 points down for a 63-61 triumph over the Red Warriors.

The UAAP Juniors Finals MVP just had five points, three rebounds, and two blocks to his name, but it was during his time on the floor when the Gilas cadets went on a 13-0 run that erased an 11-point deficit and eventually ended as a much-needed two-point win in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.

“It’s good to be a seven-footer, no,” head coach Jong Uichico joshed with reporters post-game, referring to their towering teen.

UE was up, 61-50, early in the final frame until Uichico sent Sotto and Vince Tolentino back into the game.

The two did nothing but stifle the Red Warriors as Sotto protected the paint while Tolentino clamped down on Pasaol.

In all, the Gilas cadets only allowed four points in the pivotal period. That, coupled with their scoring burst capped off by short stabs from Rivero and GDL, was more than enough to hike their standing to 2-5.

While he was scoreless in the fourth, Pasaol still topped the scoring column for now 1-2 UE with 22 points to go along with seven rebounds.

In a heavyweight bout between UAAP powerhouses, Far Eastern University topped Adamson University, 75-64.

Prince Orizu showed the way for the Tamaraws with 12 points and he was backstopped by Arvin Tolentino and Barkley Ebona who scored eight points each.. 

FEU improved to 4-1 with the win while also dealing the first defeat in three games to the Soaring Falcons.

Sean Manganti paced Adamson with 20 points. Papi Sarr also had 13 markers to his name.

Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde kept its slate spotless after powering through University of Sto. Tomas, 99-87.

Clement Leutcheu had 22 points and 15 rebounds while Edward Dixon contributed his own 16 markers in the Blazers’ fifth win in a row to begin the tournament.

UST dropped to 1-5 with the loss. Kenenth Zamora and Zachy Huang topped the scoring column for them with 22 and 21 points, respectively.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

CSB 99 – Leutcheu 22, Dixon 16, Domingo 14, Naboa 11, Young 9, Pasturan 7, Haruna 6, Belgica 5, Carlos 3, Velasco 3, Pagulayan 3, Nayve 0

UST 87 – Zamora 22, Huang 21, Lee 19, Agustin 13, Cansino 8, Cosejo 4, Caunan 0, Bataller 0, Marcos 0, Asuncion 0

QUARTER SCORES: 19-14, 33-31, 63-55, 99-87

SECOND GAME

FEU 75 – Orizu 12, Parker 9, Tolentino 8, Ebona 8, Tuffin 7, Comboy 6, Inigo 6, Escoto 6, Ramirez 5, Cani 3, Stockton 3, Bayquin 2, Bienes 0, Gonzales 0, Tempra 0

ADAMSON 64 – Manganti 20, Sarr 13, Lastimosa 8, Colonia 4, Camacho 4, Espeleta 4, Magbuhos 4, Ahanmisi 3, Orquez 2, Zaldivar 2, Macion 0, Bernardo 0, Maata 0, Magbuhos 0

QUARTER SCORES: 13-12, 34-23, 53-44, 75-64

THIRD GAME

GILAS CADETS 63 – Tratter 13, Paras 11, Tolentino V. 8, Rivero 8, Tamayo 8, Gomez de Liano 5, Sotto 5, Alejandro 3, Tolentino A. 2, Gozum 0.

UE 61 – Pasaol 22, Starit 8, Manalang 7, Bartolome 6, Varilla 5, Gagate 4, Antiporda 3, Cullar 3, Conner 2, Acuno 1, Gallardo 0, Sobrevega 0, Lacap 0, Maloles 0, Beltran 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 21-18, 34-40, 50-57, 63-61.

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