February 21, 2024

3 more Fil-Am players suffer early exits in NCAA Tournament

3 more Fil-Am players suffer early exits in NCAA Tournament
Boogie Ellis (no. 5, second from left) in USC-MSU game on Saturday | USC Trojans

No. 10 seed University of Southern California Trojans had a solid first half in their first round game against the no. 7 seed Michigan State Spartans in the NCAA Division I Tournament. After 20 minutes of play in Saturday morning’s game (Manila time), the score was tied at 34.

That is until Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo unleashed his anger at his team and the officials in the second half, even snapping a white board in the process. The Spartans woke up to eventually defeat the Trojans, 72-62.

USC fans did not hide their disappointment, especially after a letdown game by Filipino-American senior Boogie Ellis.

The guard was averaging 24.2 points in the last seven games, but against MSU, he struggled. He managed only 6 points after shooting 3-of-12 from the field. He did have 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Ellis, who bids goodbye to his college career with a first round exit, is expected to try his luck in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft.

In another first round matchup on the same day, March Madness claims another Fil-Am casualty, as senior Josh Pierre-Louis and 14th-seeded University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos bowed down to the No. 3 Baylor Bears, 74-56.

The Filipino-American guard scored 5 points in 27 minutes of play as a starter.

Meanwhile, University of Nevada Wolf Pack, which features Fil-Am Jarod Lucas, has also dropped out of the tournament on Friday after getting a drubbing from Arizona State Sun Devils in the tourney play-in, 98-73.

Lucas, who started as guard, notched 7 points and 2 assists in the loss.