After making it rain, Bullpups weather rallying Eaglets

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 15, 2016 05:03 PM
After making it rain, Bullpups weather rallying Eaglets
IN-AND-OUT. Apparently, NU is no longer just a grit and grind kind of team.

The bully Bullpups are still here.

Now in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament, however, it’s not only the paint that they own.

Winderlich Coyoca and John Lloyd Clemente dropped down nine long-range bombs all by themselves as Nazareth School of National University shot down Ateneo de Manila High School, 73-67, in a possible playoff preview on Tuesday at the San Juan Arena.

It took some time for the defending champions to get going, but once they found their range, it was in full display. With Clemente and Coyoca combining for four triples, they ignited a 15-8 blast that doubled what was once a seven-point lead to a score of 46-32 in their favor in the middle of the third.

That doesn’t mean NU has forgotten its bullying ways, however. Now without Justine Baltazar, Rhayyan Amsali and Karl Penano held down the fort by merging for 31 points and 13 rebounds.

“Masaya ako for the boys. Yung mga graduating players, willing to prove that there’s life without Justine,” coach Jeff Napa said. Indeed, two games into the post-Baltazar era, the Bullpups are undefeated.

The Blue Eaglets made them work for it though.

The kids from Katipunan kept coming and even closed to 68-71 with 26.4 ticks to go. They then forced an error only to see Jason Credo muff on his layup.

Seconds later, Amsali’s couple of charities made sure NU stayed in first-place along with also unbeaten Adamson High School.

Coyoca wound up with a career-high 20 points to take the scoring cudgels Clemente who had a quiet, for his standards, 14 points.

On the other hand, Ateneo dropped to 1-1 despite the best efforts of SJ Belangel who fired 23 points.

BOX SCORES

NU 73 – Coyoca 20, Penano 16, Amsali 15, Clemente 14, Manalang 4, Malonzo 4, Atienza 0, Tolentino 0, Callejo 0, Sarip 0

ATENEO 68 – Belangel 23, Ildefonso 11, Berjay 9, Angeles 8, Salazar 7, Credo 6, Laud 3, Espino 1, Santos 0, Escalona 0, Manuel 0, Flores 0, Gatmaytan 0

QUARTER SCORES: 15-15, 31-24, 54-43, 73-68

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