MANILA – New head coach Goldwyn Monteverde had a winning start as National University began its quest for redemption with a 107-69 rout of University of the East in the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball tournament on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Matthew Manalang debuted with 20 points while Rhayyan Amsali had a double-double effort of 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bullpups.
Far Eastern University-Diliman opened its title-retention bid with a 71-67 conquest of De La Salle-Zobel, also at the San Juan venue.
LJ Gonzales, RJ Abarrientos and Xyrus Torres, holdovers from last season’s championship team, shone as the Baby Tamaraws survived the closest opening day game.
Gonzales, the Season 79 Finals MVP, had a scintillating performance of 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds while Abarrientos and Torres added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for FEU.
Meanwhile, Ateneo drew a huge game from sophomore center Kai Sotto in an 82-64 rout of Adamson.
Sotto produced 24 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks while SJ Belangel chipped in 22 markers for the Blue Eaglets, who placed third last season.
University of Santo Tomas conquered UP Integrated School, 97-62, to cap the opening day matches.
John Cansino delivered the goods for the Tiger Cubs with a 28-point, 11-rebound outing.