MANILA, Philippines – NU-Nazareth School clinched its third straight championship in the 2023 NBTC National Finals after thwarting Fil-Nation Select-USA, 75-64, in the Division 1 Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, March 19.
Reinhard Jumamoy and RJ Colonia delivered in the fourth quarter as the Bullpups secured their fourth title overall, seeing off a tough challenge from the Fil-Americans after a nip-and-tuck battle in the first three quarters.
Jumamoy notched a triple-double of 16 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, and 5 steals to cap a dominant run that netted him the Ato Badolato Most Outstanding Player (MOP) award.
“We did not even think that this would be our fourth [title.] I just told the boys to treat this game like Gilas versus USA. That was the fire that I used for them to get going in this game,” said first-year NU head coach Kevin de Castro.
“We’re blessed because somehow, we have a player like Reinhard who can lead the team. We went through defeats in the UAAP, we got one here in the NBTC, and hopefully, he brings it to college.”
NU ceded its throne in the UAAP Season 85 boys’ basketball tournament, but the Bullpups refused to be denied this time and broke a 63-63 deadlock in the fourth period with the win-clinching 12-1 run.
Colonia churned out a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Kurt Perciano added 10 markers.
Jason Mandaquit Jr. paced Fil-Nation Select with 16 markers and 6 boards. Evan Bayla also tallied a double-double in a losing effort with 13 markers and 10 boards.
Joining Jumamoy in the Division 1 Mythical Team were Colonia, Mandaquit, and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s Jared Bahay and Raffy Celis.
The Division 2 Mythical Team featured MOP Earl Sapasap of champion Team Tarlac, Don Bosco-Dumaguete’s Matthew Jucom, Ateneo’s Lebron Nieto, Homegrown Australia’s Kaden Puletua, and Doc Boleros-NCR’s Sean Bondoc. – Rappler.com
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