Manzano leads Soaring Falcons past Cardinals

CEDRICK MANZANO sparkled as Adamson University bounced back with an 85-69 victory over Mapua University in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup Sunday at Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Manzano booked a 26-point and 12-rebound double-double performance he laced with five blocks to power the Soaring Falcons back into the win column with a 4-1 card in Group A.

“Cedrick learned his lesson. After the [University Athletic Association of the Philippines] season, we gave them a one-month break and he enjoyed, maybe too much,” said head coach Nash Racela of his man in the middle who, despite claiming to be in 60 percent game shape, already had 16 points, seven rebounds and four blocks at halftime.

Still, the Cardinals closed to within four after three periods until Jerom Lastimosa took charge. His layup and four-point play highlighted a 14-1 surge that gave the Falcons a 74-57 breather inside the last five minutes.

Lastimosa wound up with 15 points, three assists and two rebounds, while Ray Allen Torres chipped in 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Bryan Lacap scored 22 points and Toby Agustin added 14 points for Mapua.

College of Saint Benilde sent University of the East crashing back to earth with a 72-63 win.

Will Gozum scored 16 points to go with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Miggy Corteza had 15 points and six rebounds in the Blazers’ back-to-back wins following a 56-point loss to the University of the Philippines last Wednesday.

“I’m happy with their effort. They bounced back. We’re a lot sharper in these back-to-back wins,” said head coach Charles Tiu whose Blazers improved to 3-2.

The Red Warriors last threatened at 59-66 with under six minutes to go before Corteza and Robi Nayve connived for six straight points that sent Saint Benilde to a 72-59 advantage.

Nayve had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Blazers.

Harvey Pagsanjan had 24 points to lead UE, now 2-4 after winning back-to-back.