UAAP: Bullpups crowned champions for fourth time in last eight years

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 22, 2019 05:17 PM
Bullpups crowned champs for fourth time in last eight years
NU now has four championships in the last decade - one more than Ateneo, two more than FEU-Diliman, three more than DLSZ, and four more than everybody else (FILE PHOTO)

Nazareth School of National University’s dynastic run continues.

Yet again bottling up Kai Sotto and yet again banking on total team effort, the Bullpups yet again got the better of Ateneo de Manila High School, 64-53, in Game 2 of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament Finals on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Carl Tamayo proved to be a difference-maker anew with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double en route to the Finals MVP citation. He was only backstopped by twin tower Kevin Quiambao who had eight makers and six boards of his own to go along with five assists and two blocks.

Like he has done in the two teams’ past three meetings, Terrence Fortea also made a difference and made sure his side didn’t skip a beat after skipper Gerry Abadiano’s ejection.

Abadiano incurred his second unsportsmanlike foul late in the third quarter and went on to see his team trailing by one inside the last six minutes.

It was at that point, however, that Fortea and Tamayo teamed up for a 14-2 finishing kick that ultimately took the fight out of their opponents.

Fortea wound up with 15 points while graduating guard Cyril Gonzales also added 10 markers, 10 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

With that, NU took the crown off of the head of Ateneo and took its place as the top team in the tournament.

There was no doubt about it at the end of it all as the Bullpups won all of their four matchups with the Blue Eaglets. They also just fell short of a season sweep, wrapping up their season with an overall 16-1 record.

This is NU’s fourth championship in the last eight years – and in the last eight years, it has played in the championship round.

Looking at the big picture, this latest title makes the Bullpups the winningest outfit in the last decade of the UAAP Juniors – besting the Blue Eaglets’ three, Far Eastern University-Diliman’s two, and De La Salle Zobel’s one.

As always, Sotto showed the way for the Blue Eaglets with 26 points, 25 rebounds, and four blocks. He only shot 5-of-19 from the field, however, and was the only one in double-digits for his side.

Without an answer for NU all season long, they were unable to protect their throne.

BOX SCORES

NU 64 – Fortea 15, Tamayo 13, Gonzales 10, Quiambao 8, Torres 8, Abadiano 8, Felicilda 2, Alarcon 0, Javillonar 0, Mailim 0, Buensalida 0, Dayrit 0.

ATENEO 53 – Sotto 26, Padrigao 8, Chiu 8, Fetalvero 6, Diaz 3, Espinosa 2, David 0, Jaymalin 0, De Ayre 0, Ladimo 0, Salandanan 0, Narciso 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 18-15, 31-31, 46-45, 64-53.

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