SUPER SHOWDOWN: '13 season sweep vs '20 perfect run of Bullpups
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 24, 2020 07:41 PM
(Photos courtesy of UAAP, Jeff Napa)
Not only has Nazareth School of National University gone undefeated through the tournament in UAAP Boys Basketball, it has actually done it twice in the last seven years.
The Bullpups did it in 2013 as Jeff Napa guided and Hubert Cani led them in warding off all oncomers and winding up 16-0.
Seven years later, head coach Goldwin Monteverde's well-oiled machine stamped its class on all its opponents en route to an unbeaten title defense.
With that, the Sampaloc-based school can now boast of having, arguably, two of the top teams in high school history.
Head-to-head, though, which squad's season sweep was more impressive? That, that is exactly what we will delve into in ABS-CBN Sports' Super Showdown.
In grading the greatness of each team's perfect run, we will be judging them in five categories (frontcourt, backcourt, coaching, depth, and level of competition) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision.
Carl Tamayo is the best big man to come out of high school in recent history.
The 6-foot-7 modern big man's averages of 11.6 points and 9.3 rebounds in the elimination round were ho-hum, but he unleashed his true self in the Finals where the posted a per game double-double of 19 markers and 18 boards.
Put 6-foot-8 Kevin Quiambao and his norms of 12.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 blocks beside that and the '20 National U team had two of the most talented towers in all of the Jrs. division.
Coach Jeff, a well-renowned big man whisperer, has his bigs prepared to the utmost in each and every game, but '13 Bullpups' JP Cauilan, Mark Dyke, and Kins Go are just no match for the power and potential of the Tamayo-Quiambao pairing.
That gap more than made up for the inexperience of '20 National U's wings in Harold Alarcon, Reyland Torres, and Nat Tulabut when matched up opposite the battle-tested wiles of Enzo Battad and Chino Mosqueda from the '13 Bullpups.
Advantage '20 Bullpups, 10-8
Cani, without a doubt, underwhelmed in his college career, but there was always a reason why several squads were interested in him coming out of high school.
Simply put, he was a true-blue-chip recruit and his 24.5-point, 7.0-assist, 4.0-rebound, and 2.0-steal averages when it mattered most made him nothing but worthy as Finals MVP.
Make no mistake, Terrence Fortea and Gerry Abadiano are true-blue-chip recruits in their own right, but the '13 version of Cani was just on another level - a big guard who can make plays as well as take matters into his own hands.
Backstop him with steady Philip Manalang and '13 National U trumps the '20 Bullpups guard rotation of Fortea, Abadiano, Ernest Felicilda, and Steve Nash Enriquez.
Advantage '13 Bullpups, 10-9
Both Coach Jeff and Coach Gold are undisputed master-builders in high school.
Napa transformed National U from a once-league doormat into a dynasty while Monteverde has been a winner anywhere and everywhere, be it Chiang Kai Shek College or Adamson High School or with the Bullpups.
Coach Jeff's trademark has long been mining raw big men and molding them into forces while Coach Gold has always had total team effort as his signature.
Considering the lineups of the two teams, though, it was Napa who got the most out of his players.
Cani was the '13 Bullpups one and only shining star, but Coach Jeff had perfect roles for do-it-all Cauilan, monster rebounder Dyke, and two-way swingman Mosqueda.
On the other hand, Coach Gold had tantalizing talents in Abadiano, Fortea, Quiambao, and Tamayo, among others, and then made them all work in a system.
And so, the slight edge here goes to Napa who turned scraps into a machine - but still, it should never be disregarded how masterful it was that Monteverde let his constellation of stars shine bright in their own ways.
Advantage '13 Bullpups, 10-9
There is no debate that the National U of '20 will blow the '13 Bullpups out of the water in terms of total talent.
The National U of '20 had Tamayo and Fortea coming off the bench for crying out loud all while Quiambao and Abadiano made sure they started strong.
Even more, the likes of Alarcon, Torres, and Felicilda never got headlines and highlights, but were actually the grease that made sure the juggernaut was running as well as it should.
In comparison, the '13 Bullpups, more often than not, went eight-deep with Cani flanked by Battad, Cauilan, Dyke, Go, Manalang, Mosqueda, and John Rey Lapiz.
Man-for-man, the National U of '20 was just fully loaded as promising prospects Enriquez, Kenji Duremdes, and Echo Laure are only just waiting for their turn at the controls.
Advantage '20 Bullpups, 10-8
LEVEL OF COMPETITION
The '20 National U won by an average of 25.8 points and only had three single-digit wins through the tournament.
The '13 Bullpups, meanwhile, won by an average of 12.5 points and had 10 single-digit wins through the tournament.
That alone doesn't tell the full story, though.
The '13 Bullpups' road to a season sweep was actually rockier as it featured matchups with Ateneo de Manila University with Aaron Black, Jolo Mendoza, Thirdy Ravena, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt; Far Eastern University-Diliman with Brandrey Bienes, Wendell Comboy, Richard Escoto, Christian Fajarito, Marvin Lee, and Domingo twins JJ and JS; De La Salle Zobel with QJ Banzon, Aljun Melecio, Brent Paraiso, and Renzo Subido; and even Diego Dario and Joe Gomez de Liano's the University of the Philippines Integrated School and Raymar Caduyac's University of the East.
And yet, they were able to take care of Thirdy's Blue Eaglets by an average margin of victory of 12.5 points in the Finals.
That was the same average margin of victory for '20 National U opposite FEU-Diliman which went to war led by Cholo Anonuevo, Jorick Bautista, and Penny Estacio.
While Anonuevo, Bautista, and Estacio are tantalizing talents, they are only coming into their own and far from the player that Season MVP Thirdy was for Ateneo.
No doubt, talent was all over the league even past those '20 Finalists in the form of Adamson High School with Season MVP Jake Figueroa and Matty Erolon; Ateneo's Josh Lazaro, Lebron Lopez, and Forthky Padrigao; University of Sto. Tomas' Jacob Cortez and Bismarck Lina; and UPIS' Sean Torculas, Jordi GDL, and Ray Allen Torres.
In all, however, the level of competition in 2013 was higher as '20 National U didn't face a team as talented as Thirdy's Blue Eaglets or a more complete team than the Baby Tams.
Advantage '13 Bullpups, 10-8