Bullpups take fight out of Jr. Maroons to take top spot

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 01, 2017 04:56 PM
Bullpups take fight out of Jr. Maroons to take top spot
STRONG STYLE. Defending champion NU is one win away from another twice-to-beat advantage.

TEAM STANDINGS
NU 12-1 *
FEU-Diliman 11-2 *
Ateneo 10-3 *
DLSZ 5-8
UPIS 5-8
UST 5-8
UE 3-10
Adamson 1-12
* clinched playoff berth

The University of the Philippines Integrated School had just been brought back to life in the playoff picture of the UAAP 79 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

Only, Nazareth School of National University was there to knock them down again.

Baring their teeth on defense, the Bullpups dimmed the Junior Maroons’ Final Four hopes anew with a 90-64 blowout on Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.

Karl Penano had 15 points,  Rhayyan Amsali and Michel Malonzo pounded in double-doubles, and the defending champions had no problems whatsoever en route to their 12th win in 13 games.

The offensive balance coupled with a defense that frustrated UPIS main man Juan Gomez de Liano to only nine points in 2-of-20 field goal shooting were more than enough to move NU one win away from a twice-to-beat advantage.

The Bullpups’ latest win also formalized their place atop the leaderboard with the UAAP Board forcing the forfeiture of erstwhile league-leader Adamson.

With the Baby Falcons surrendering their playoff berth, UPIS was in the running as a replacement. With the loss, however, its hopes were dimmed.

Fortunately for State U, fellow playoff hopefuls De La Salle Zobel and University of Sto. Tomas also suffered defeats.

Far Eastern University-Diliman held off daring De La Salle Zobel, 70-56, while Adamson High School vented its ire on the Tiger Cubs, 92-58.

With their losses, the Junior Maroons, Junior Archers, and Tiger Cubs remain in a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff berth.

The Baby Tamaraws solidified their stranglehold of the second-seed now at 11-2 thanks to LJ Gonzales.

With DLSZ threatening inside the last four minutes, FEU-Diliman turned to Gonzales who poured in six of his 20 points in that time frame as well as RJ Abarrientos who wound up with a total of 13 points.

Still breathing down their necks, however, is Ateneo de Manila High School which dropped a 39-point hammer on University of the East, 92-53.

SJ Belangel had 14 points and the Blue Eaglets’ first five all finished in double-digits. They improved to 10-3, still in the running for a playoff incentive.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

NU 90 – Penano 15, Amsali 14, Malonzo 14, Clemente 13, Fortea 11, Coyoca 8, Manalang 4, Callejo 3, Sarip 2, Mosqueda 2, Peralta 2, Dela Cruz 2, Tolentino 0, Pangilinan 0

UPIS 64 – Labao Ral 21, Gomez de Liano 9, Santiago 9, Gregorio 9, Labao Raf 7, Lina 3, Lagahit 2, Vergeire 2, Tupaz 2, Estrera 0, Villa-real 0

QUARTER SCORES: 23-12, 41-37, 64-50, 90-64

THIRD GAME

ATENEO 92 – Belangel 14, Berjay 13, Credo 12, Ildefonso 12, Sotto 10, Manuel 7, Flores 7, Angeles 6, Deonio 3, Escalona 2, Espino 2, Gatmaytan 2, Afable 2, Laud 0

UE 53 – Dulalia 13, Gonzales 8, Vinte 8, Acuesta 6, Angeles 5, Manaug 4, Encelan 3, Balundo 3, Canton 2, Po 1, Ramos 0, Domingo 0, Azurin 0, Cruz 0, Morelos 0, Palanas 0

QUARTER SCORES: 37-16, 58-30, 83-38, 92-53

FOURTH GAME

FEU-DILIMAN 70 – Gonzales 20, Abarrientos 13, Celzo 9, Gabane 7, Alforque Roy 6, Gloria 5, Roman 4, Jabel 3, Boc 2, Sapinit 1

DLSZ 56 – Sobrevega 11, Romero 8, Carlos 8, Mariano 7, Cosejo 5, Natividad 5, Santos 4, Vista 3, Vesagas 3, Cortez 2, Diaz 0, Laurente 0, Terrado 0, Umali 0

QUARTER SCORES: 21-9, 38-24, 48-42, 70-56

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