Baltazar rescues Bullpups from upset-minded Baby Falcons

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 16, 2016 05:15 PM
Baltazar rescues Bullpups from upset-minded Baby Falcons
CLOSE BUT NOT QUITE. Two points is the smallest margin of victory of the season for still undefeated NU.

STANDINGS

NU 9-0
DLSZ 7-2
Ateneo 6-3
FEU-Diliman 5-4
Adamson 5-4
UST 3-6
UPIS 1-8
UE 0-9

The toughest test for Nazareth School of National University thus far in the UAAP 78 Juniors Basketball Tournament came from the most unexpected of places.

Nonetheless, the Bullpups passed their toughest test for what is now a still perfect 9-0 grade.

Justine Baltazar tipped-in his own miss right at the buzzer on Saturday at the San Juan Arena to let NU escape the furious fightback of Adamson High School, 68-66.

The league-leaders established an advantage of as high as 15 in the third before the Baby Falcons unleashed a 30-16 rush to pull to within 63-64 with 61 seconds remaining. Ryan Amsali then found himself at the right place at the right time to give the Bullpups a three-point lead until EJ Agbong answered with his own lucky shot to tie the game at 66.

Coming off a timeout, NU sent the ball down low to Baltazar who muffed on his attempt but, did not give up on the play to be rewarded with the game-winning tip-in. Baltazar finished with 12 points and nine rebounds while John Lloyd Clemente top-scored with 20 in the Bullpups’ ninth win in as many games.

Adamson was soundly defeated by NU in the first round, but is now the team to come closest to felling the league-leaders. Agbong had 13 markers to his name as his team dropped to 5-4.

Because of the Baby Falcons’ loss, defending champion Ateneo de Manila High School now stand at solo third at 6-3 after prevailing over fighting University of the Philippines Integrated School, 75-67.

Jolo Mendoza sat out the game to mend the left ankle he injured a month ago, but in his stead, Shaun Ildefonso and Gian Mamuyac scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, to get the Blue Eaglets back to winning.

Meanwhile, De La Salle Zobel dug deeper into second-place following an easy 78-52 triumph over University of Sto. Tomas. Aljun Melecio didn’t even come close to the 40-point outing he had the last time around, but he still showed the way with 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds.

He also had more than enough help with Miguel Fortuna and Marco Sario chipping in 14 and 12 markers, respectively, as the Junior Archers improved to 7-2. Due to their defeats, the Tiger Cubs and Junior Maroons stayed at the sixth and seventh spots, respectively.

In the day’s other game, Far Eastern University-Diliman rode another double-double from Kenji Roman to keep University of the East winless, 93-76. The Baby Tamaraws’ hefty forward posted 17 points and 13 rebounds in their fifth win in nine games.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

ATENEO 75 – Ildefonso S 17, Mamuyac 16, Ildefonso D 13, Belangel 6, Mendoza M 5, Hassan 4, Credo 4, Berjay 4, Andrade 3, Eustaquio 2, Bernardo 1, Rosales 0, Gatmaytan 0, David 0, Soriano 0

UPIS 67 – Gomez de Liano Ju 21, Barles 19, Vergeire 7, Gregorio 6, Tupaz 4, Gozum 4, Labao 4, Gomez de Liano Ja 2, Lina 0, Estrera 0

QUARTER SCORES: 9-17, 31-29, 52-49, 75-67

SECOND GAME

FEU-Diliman 93 – Roman 17, Gloria 14, Sapinit 10, Torres 10, Gonzales 8, Gabane 8, Celzo 7, Jabel 7, Bieren 3, Boc 3, Garcia 2, Mariano 2, De Leon 2, Ramos 0, Belgica 0

UE 79 – Camarillo 21, Angeles 21, Aban 13, Publico 6, Ramos 6, Dulalia 5, Balundo 5, Vinte 2, Acuesta 0, Cruz 0, Domingo 0, Morada 0, Palanas 0

QUARTER SCORES: 28-16, 53-34, 71-53, 93-79

THIRD GAME

DLSZ 78 – Melecio 17, Fortuna 14, Sario 12, Paraiso 11, Cabarrus 5, Romero 4, Sobrevega 4, Francisco 4, Rabat 3, Mariano 2, Tongco 2, Cosejo 0, Vista 0, Cristobal 0, Salafranca 0, Terrado 0

UST 52 – Navarro 10, Lacap 6, Balingit 5, Marzan 5, Baquial 4, Fornillos 4, Ballada 4, Morales 4, Reculio 3, Ratuiste 2, Japzon 2, Narvasa 2, Ganaphat 1, Villapando 0, Figueroa 0

QUARTER SCORES; 29-15, 42-30, 65-39, 78-52

FOURTH GAME

NU 68 – Clemente 20, Amsali 16, Baltazar 12, Coyoca 6, Atienza 6, Penano 4, Manalang 2, Tolentino 2, Callejo 0, Sarip 0, Jugar 0, Camaso 0

ADAMSON 66 – Agbong 13, Chua 12, Celis 12, Natividad 9, Santos 8, Abadiano 2, Flores 2, Antiporda 2, Umayao 2, Padrigao 2, Sabroso 2, Beltran 0

QUARTER SCORES: 16-15, 35-33, 56-47, 68-66

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