Jose Rizal University (JRU) shocked defending champion De La Salle University, 85-81, at the start of the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup on Monday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
The Heavy Bombers withstood the late run of the Green Archers to grab the opening-day victory.
Veteran guard Teytey Teodoro led JRU with 17 points while Jed Mendoza added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists, for the Heavy Bombers who led 78-69 early in the payoff period.
But La Salle staged a rally and threatened at 81-83 behind the exploits of Aljun Melecio with 1:43 remaining.
Gio Lasquety and MJ dela Virgen sealed the win for JRU with a split each to dampen the title-retention bid start of the Taft-based team.
“The effort was really there. The boys responded well in this game. They played great defense,” said Heavy Bombers head coach Vergel Meneses.
“This pre-season tournament is good for us. We will see how far we will go as a team. We played a good game and maybe La Salle played a bad game. My boys worked hard for this so I think we deserve it,” he added.
University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala led the Green Archers with 22 points and 16 rebounds.
In the second match, Lyceum of the Philippines University stunned Ateneo de Manila University, 90-89, to complete the day of upsets.
Jaycee Mercelino led the Pirates with 14 points on a five-out-of-nine shooting performance from the field on top of three assists.