National U begins NBTC tile defense with 90-point win

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 19, 2019 06:35 PM
National U begins NBTC tile defense with 90-point win
NU dominated from tip-off to final buzzer in its first game in the national championship for high school (Photo courtesy of 2019 NBTC Nationals)

Nazareth School of National University-Manila did not miss a beat in its debut in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals presented by SM, manhandling Isabela Colleges-Cauayan in a huge 135-45 win, Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Terrence Fortea led the Bullpups’ balanced beatdown with 19 points on 4-of-11 shooting from downtown. Diminutive guard Steve Nash Enriquez also made the most of his 13 minutes on the floor with 17 markers on 7-of-10 shooting with two rebounds and two steals.

“Actually, nag-usap na kami before the game how to be consistent sa ginagawa namin,” said multi-titled mentor Goldwin Monteverde. “We had a great campaign in the UAAP and nag-pick up din kami sa tinatakbo namin.”

The defending national champions showed why they are the country’s best high school team as they pounced on Isabela with an early 37-4 barrage in the opening canto. National U kept its foot on the gas from then on, clinching a 50-point lead, 62-12, after a Reyland Torres fastbreak layup near the end of the first half.

They then pushed their gap up to 93 points in the final frame as 13 of 15 players breached the 10-minute mark in the runaway victory.

FilAm Sports USA also continued their dominant stretch, drubbing Perpetual Help JONELTA-Laguna, 86-55, in this tournament sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, and Molten.

Lanky forward Kainoa Ballungay had another great outing, leading the Fil-Ams with 24 points and 10 rebounds, including 11 markers in the first quarter alone. The 6-foot-7 swingman hailing from Ilocos Norte is averaging 21.5 points and 11 rebounds in two games so far in the tourney.

FilAm Sports now moves on to the Supreme 16 to face either Kai Sotto-led Ateneo or Lyceum-Cavite.

Jeron Artest, son of NBA champion Metta World Peace, added 12 points in this one with 10 boards and 6 assists. Reigning FIBA Under-17 World Cup MVP Jalen Green, meanwhile, chipped in 11 markers and four dimes.

While the second day of this tournament had its fair share of blowout affairs, it also had a helping of thrilling finishes such as FEU-Manila outgunning St. Augustine-Pampanga, 90-86.

After being down by as many as 12 points, 57-69, in the third quarter, RJ Abarrientos woke up and dropped 16 of his 21 markers in the final frame. The lead guard went on a perfect 5-of-5 clip from downtown to help push the Baby Tamaraws onto the next round where they meet UAAP rival National U.

In Palm Coast Marina, Vance Caterbas scored the game-winning putback at the buzzer to lift Southern Philippine Colleges-Cagayan de Oro to a 69-67 stunner over AusPinoy Australia.

Calayan Educational Foundation-Lucena also shocked Team Italy Europe Proudly Pinoy with a 69-63 squeaker, as reigning NCAA champions Mapua University survived a late fightback from Zamboanga del Sur National High School Pagadian, 54-46.

The week-long tourney moves on to the Supreme 16 on Wednesday, still free of admission, with fans needing just a valid ID to enter the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

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