Malaysia

UAAP juniors: Blue Eaglets nail last Final Four bonus

JR Isaga
Defending champion Ateneo joins NU in the top two to clinch the twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP juniors basketball tournament

 

ON A ROLL. Kai Sotto and the Blue Eaglets look to continue their winning ways in the Final Four. File photo

 

MANILA, Phillippines – The Ateneo Blue Eaglets clinched a much needed Final Four bonus in their title defense after routing fellow contender Adamson Baby Falcons, 72-59, in the UAAP Season 81 juniors basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Sunday, February 10.

Leading MVP candidate Kai Sotto was up to his old tricks, dropping a 17-point, 17-rebound double-double in the easy win for an 11-3 record that sealed the No. 2 spot for the Blue Eaglets. 

Sotto’s fellow Batang Gilas big man Geo Chiu also erupted for 18 markers and 10 boards off the bench.

The Final Four gets going on Friday with Ateneo toting a twice-to-beat semifinal advantage versus No. 3 FEU Baby Tamaraws (9-5).

Despite the loss, the Baby Falcons (9-5) still marched to the playoffs to face against the top-seeded NU Bullpups (13-1), who also hold a twice-to-beat edge.

Ateneo was hell-bent on clinching the last semifinal incentive as proved by their wire-to-wire dominance over the Falcons. The Blue Eaglets even led by as many as 22 points, 66-44, after a Chiu layup at the 6:40 mark of the 4th quarter.

Adamson never recovered from that point onwards as the Eaglets cruised to the final buzzer. 

Joshua Barcelona paced the Falcons with 14 points off the bench. Jake Engbino added 12 markers while twins Andrey and Adam Doria combined for 15 points and 9 rebounds. 

NU vs FEU 

To wrap up the season’s elimination round, the NU Bullpups gave the FEU Baby Tamaraws a playoff preview after a hard-earned 81-75 win.

Batang Gilas playmaker Gerry Abadiano led the charge yet again with 20 points and 3 assists. Streaky shooter Terrence Fortea chipped in 16 markers off the bench albeit on a 5-of-22 (22%) clip. 

FEU still led 67-64 at the 6:20 mark of the 4th after a Xyrus Torres go-ahead three. However, last season’s silver medalists closed the Baby Tams out with a huge, game-sealing 17-6 run ending with a Fortea layup, 81-73, in the final minute of regulation.

Star guard RJ Abarrientos led the Tamaraws’ efforts with 23 points and 8 assists. Royce Alforque tallied 14 markers, 5 boards and 4 assists while Torres added 13 points off the bench.

UE vs UPIS 

In the first contest of the day, the UE Junior Warriors finally broke a bottom-dwelling tie with the UPIS Junior Maroons after a nail-biting 80-76 win. 

UE finished 7th in the standings with a 2-12 record while UPIS fell rock bottom at 8th with a 1-13 slate.

Bruising big man Jesse Sullano burst out with a season-best 29-point, 17-rebound double-double in the win. Shane Dichoso had a dub-dub of his own after a 20-marker, 15-board outing with 7 assists to boot. 

Jacob Estrera saved his best for last, chipping in a season-best 30 points with 9 boards. King Vergeire tallied a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double while Jordi Gomez de Liaño added 12 markers and 9 boards off the bench.

UST vs DLSZ 

The UST Tiger Cubs ended De La Salle Zobel’s season with an 85-64 beatdown. 

One-and-done wonder rookie Mark Nonoy finished his juniors career with a game-high 16 points plus 7 rebounds and 7 assists in just 20 minutes on the floor. Jomar Amador added 15 markers and 6 boards.

Nonoy now moves on to the seniors ranks, joining the UST Growling Tigers just in time for the PBA D-League season on Thursday, February 14.

Nat Sevilla had a nice season-ender performance, dropping 13 points and 15 rebounds in the tough loss. Lance Jomalesa also had a 10-marker, 12-board double-double off the bench while Henrie Subido led all Archer scorers with 14 points.

The Scores

First Game

UE 80 – Sullano 29, Flores 12, Almacen 10, Tan 8, Dichoso 7, Gatdula 5, Tajonera 3, Alinsoring 3, Villarta 2, Manaug 1, Lima 0. 

UPIS 76 – Estrera 30, Vergiere 14, Gomez de Liano 12, Labao 11, Tuazon 9, Napalang 0, Lopez 0, Galotera 0, Armamento 0, Cordero 0, Villaverde 0, Abreu 0.

Quarters: 18-22, 34-32, 54-60, 80-76.

Second Game 

UST 85 – Nonoy 16, Amador 15, Benzonan 9, Casingcasing 9, Manabat 8, Lina 6, Oliva 6, Dolendo 5, Marzan 3, Estrella 2, Dumlao 2, Beliran 2, Javier 2, Barranco 0.

DLSZ 64 – Subido 14, Sevilla 13, Cudiamat 11, Jomalesa 10, Macasaet 7, Villarin 5, Unisa 4, Milan 0, Luna 0, Danao 0, Marana 0, Dee 0. 

Quarters: 31-21, 53-27, 64-44, 85-64.

Third Game 

Ateneo 72 – Chiu 18, Sotto 17, Diaz 10, Padrigao 6, Jaymalin 6, Fetalvero 6, David 5, Espinosa 2, De Ayre 2, Narciso 0, Salandanan 0. 

Adamson 59 – Barcelona 14, Engbino 12, An. Doria 9, Sabandal 8, Ad. Doria 6, Hanapi 5, Prodigo 2, Tulabut 2, Capulong 1, Santos 0. 

Quarters: 22-16, 42-26, 58-42, 72-59. 

Fourth Game 

NU 81 – Abadiano 20, Fortea 16, Tamayo 11, Felicilda 9, Alarcon 7, Dayrit 6, Javillonar 4, Torres 4, Gonzales 2, Mailim 2, Buensalida 0, Enriquez 0, Vinoya 0.

FEU 75 – Abarrientos 23, Alforque 14, Torres 13, Sajonia 12, Anonuevo 7, Tolentino 5, J. Bautista 1, Ona 0, Barasi 0, Sleat 0, Bagunu 0, Bradley 0, S. Bautista 0, Libago 0.

Quarters: 20-28, 39-44, 58-58, 81-75.

Standings 

^NU 13-1

^ADMU 11-3

*FEU 9-5

*AdU 9-5

UST 7-7

DLSZ 4-9

UE 2-12 

UPIS 1-13

^ twice-to-beat bonus

* semis berth

– Rappler.com