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Filoil Preseason Cup: DLSU remains unbeaten as CSB exacts revenge vs. Letran

By Mon Anthony L. Valmoria

MANILA—De La Salle University extended their winning ways behind unsung hero EJ Gollena while College of Saint Benilde got their revenge against NCAA Finals tormentors Letran in the second half of the Wednesday card of the 2023 Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup.

Gollena waxed hot in the 4th quarter by scoring 8 straight points to give the Green Archers their 3rd win of the tournament at the expense of the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 77-67. The 6'3 wing from Las PiƱas finished the game with 17 points on a perfect 7/7 clip in just 14 minutes of action off the bench.

"He's always been solid and knows his role. Sometimes he plays, sometimes he doesn't but he doesn't change his approach to the game. It's always nice to have him [EJ] fill into the role and make it his own," said coach Topex Robinson talking about Gollena's explosion off the bench.

Gollena, who acknowledged De La Salle's depth and level of talent, echoed his coach's sentiments.

"Because of the opportunities that my coach gives, I was able to make myself ready to come in and make shots and fulfill my role. We're a talented team and that makes most of us a threat so that's why I got my open shots thanks to my teammates," he quipped.

DLSU mainstays Mark Nonoy and Kevin Quiambao added 15 points apiece to the Green Archers' attack as Bright Nwankwo and Jonnel Policarpio contributed 13 rebounds and 10 points respectively.

Furthermore, in the main game of the day, CSB got back at NCAA champions Letran, 78-66.

In a game featuring last year's NCAA finalists, the Blazers and the Knights figured into a close battle from the 1st quarter until the 3rd quarter. Both teams showed why they were in the Finals last season with timely baskets and nifty plays.

However, CSB pulled away late in the game after showing its class in the 4th quarter. Led by Miggy Oczon's 15 points, the Blazers would go on to outscore the Knights 23-9 in the quarter to claim the victory.

Felipe Marasigan chipped in 14 points while team captain Robi Jullian Nayve added 12 points to backstop Oczon.

Kobe Bryan Monje paced Letran with 16 points in a losing cause.

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