Bullpups bump off Greenies to get back on top of NBTC Division 1
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 23, 2018 08:04 PM
Gerry Abadiano was instrumental all throughout as NU recaptured the NBTC Division 1 crown
Coming off a heartbreaking loss in the UAAP Juniors Finals just 21 days ago, the Nazareth School of National University Bullpups did not allow themselves to be on the wrong end of the history books once more, surviving a late surge by Joel Cagulangan and the La Salle Greenhills Greenies, 80-78, to claim the 2018 Exped Socks SM-NBTC National Championship, on Friday at the MOA Arena.
This is the Bullpups' second national championship in the last three years. Moreover, this is Goldwin Monteverde's first major championship.
"Siyempre very challenging talaga yung liga, from 32 teams, mage-end up ka sa number one. Masaya talaga para sa amin," shared Monteverde as the Bullpups had to go through Bacolod Tay Tung High School, Adamson High School, FilAm Sports, and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu to get to the championship round.
But it could not have been possible if it were not for the timely stops the Bullpups made to close out the game.
After leading by as much as 13 points in the contest and 11 points with 4:33 left, Joel Cagulangan single-handedly powered the Greenies to an 11-0 run. The rally was capped by a strong drive to the basket by the top high school floor general in the country with 49.5 seconds left to knot the game at 77-all.
Gerry Abadiano, though, was able to overpower Makoy Marcos to the rim, drawing a foul and knocking down both free throws to put the Bullpups up 20 seconds later.
"As expected naman si Gerry talaga sa ilang beses na nakasama ko siya, even in tough games makikita mo na nagde-deliver siya," Monteverde beamed about Abadiano, who was his player in Adamson two years ago. "Ang maganda both ends of the floor, nakakapag-play siya ng good defense and at the same time, sa offense din."
Off a timeout, Cagulangan was able to fish a foul from Paul Manalang. After making the first free throw, however, he muffed the second one.
Mark Sangco was there for the offensive rebound, but Cagulangan's attempt was swatted away by Michael Malonzo.
A split on the stripe by Rhayyan Amsali still gave LSGH a shot but Sidney Mosqueda struggled to give a good inbound that led to a desperation heave by Inand Fornilos that unfortunately did not go in.
"Siguro for one, sometimes may mga bitter lessons din like yung last season namin sa UAAP, it boiled down to last two possessions," Monteverde recalled about Game 3 of the UAAP Juniors Finals that saw them squander a six-point lead late that led to a 58-63 defeat.
Abadiano, who was crowned the Final's Most Outstanding Player, had 24 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Cyril Gonzales and Terrence Fortea finished with 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
Cagulangan, who was named as the Most Outsanding Player of the tournament, led LSGH with 25 points. Fornilos, on the other hand, filled up the stat sheet with 18 poitns on 8-of-13 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and four blocks.
NU 80 — Abadiano 24, Gonzales 12, Fortea 11, Amsali 8, Quiambao 8, Coyoca 5, Minerva 4, Tamayo 4, Malonzo 2, Oczon 2, Javillonar 0, Manalang 0.
LSGH 78 — Cagulangan 25, Fornilos 18, Marcos 17, Sangco 7, Mosqueda 6, Espinosa 3, Lao 2, Cruz 0, Lapalam 0, Morales 0, Natividad 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 23-23, 40-35, 63-54, 80-78.