Unlikely hero saves day as Bullpups score again vs Baby Tams
Michael Malonzo came up big for NU in the last seven seconds
In a game where the brightest stars of two of the strongest squads were colliding, it was a little-known player who proved to be the difference on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Unheralded and undersized Michael Malonzo came through with under 10 ticks to go on the clock to lift Nazareth School of National University over very game Far Eastern University-Diliman, 86-81.
Malonzo had five points and one steal in the last seven seconds to make sure the Bullpups started the second round strong, improving to 6-2 in the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament.
The tally was tied at 81-all with 1:18 remaining before the two teams traded a couple of defensive stops.
In the pivotal possession, the Baby Tamaraws honed in on Rhayyan Amsali, Terrence Fortea, and Migs Oczon, leaving Malonzo with an open lane.
He did nothing but take it strong to the hole and made good on the basket along with the bonus.
At the other end, Malonzo then intercepted an inbound and sent to the line, coolly converted his couple of charities.
Not long after, NU was celebrating their elimination round sweep of the team that defeated them in the Finals a year ago.
Malonzo wound up with seven points and five rebounds, serving as the punctuation mark to Amsali’s strong showing of 21 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Terrence Fortea also chipped in 18 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
All of that overcame the best game of the season for FEU-Diliman’s L-Jay Gonzales who had 21 points, five assists, and five rebounds.
The defending champs remain winless against all of NU, Ateneo de Manila High School, and University of Sto. Tomas. At 4-4, they remain at the fourth spot.
NU 86 – Amsali 21, Fortea 18, Manalang 12, Malonzo 7, Minerva 7, Oczon 6, Pangilinan 6, Gonzales 5, Javillonar 4, Coyoca 0
FEU-DILIMAN 81 – Gonzales 21, Sajonia 15, Abarrientos 12, Celzo 9, Torres 8, Tolentino 8, Alforque 4, Boc 4, Ona 0, Mariano 0, Barasi 0
QUARTER SCORES: 18-22, 40-47, 57-65, 86-81
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