GERRY ABADIANO (center) of champion University of the Philippines bagged the Puso Pilipinas Finals Most Valuable Player plum.

GERRY ABADIANO of champion University of the Philippines (UP) bagged the Puso Pilipinas Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum while Kevin Quiambao of runner-up De La Salle University took home the Season Smart Sports MVP honor at the close of the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup late Wednesday night at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Mr. Abadiano scored all of his 12 points in the second half as the Fighting Maroons erased a 20-point deficit against the Green Archers for a 69-66 win in a gigantic rematch to capture their second straight preseason title.

His heroics overshadowed Mr. Quiambao, whose 14 points and 10 rebounds went for naught in the massive meltdown of the Green Archers following their three-game series win against the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 86 finals.

Both cagers traded heymakers in the anticipated finale of the staple preseason tourney among UAAP and NCAA teams with Mr. Abadiano draining a stepback jumper in the last two minutes to finally give UP the lead, 64-62, after going down as big as 23-43 at the half.

Mr. Quiambao returned the favor in the ensuing play with a booming triple to regain the driver’s seat for De La Salle, 65-64, only for the seasoned floor general in JD Cagulangan to put on the finishing touches for UP.

Mr. Cagulangan, for his part, was named to the Puso Pilipinas Mythical Five along with super rookies Veejay Pre of Far Eastern University (FEU) and Jonathan Manalili of Colegio de San Juan de Letran to join Messrs. Quiambao and Abadiano.

FEU, under the tutelage of new head coach Sean Chambers, finished third in the tourney after an equally thrilling win over NCAA bet Letran, 70-68.

Harold Alarcon (UP), Jonnel Policarpio (La Salle), Jedrick Daa (FEU), Allen Liwag (College of St. Benilde), and Jomel Puno (San Beda University) were also named to the other All-Tournament Team.

Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde’s Ian Torres torched Letran’s Stephen Garupil, 14-4, in the finals to rule the Hanes 1-on-1 King of the Hardcourt. — John Bryan Ulanday