MANILA, Philippines – Fil-Nation Select kicked off its 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals campaign in dominant fashion after routing Doc Boleros by 56 points, 116-60, at Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, March 15.
The tandem of Jacob Bayla and Jason Mandaquit Jr. combined for 31 points to lead the Filipino-Americans’ runaway win that sent them to Division 1, while Doc Boleros was relegated to Division 2.
Like Fil-Nation Select, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Landmasters also punched its ticket to Division 1 after a 99-54 blowout of Rome Elite.
Raffy Celis nearly tallied a double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds while top-ranked high school player Jared Bahay finished with 7 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds
Defending champion National University-Nazareth School routed Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas, 93-68.
Reinhard Jumamoy, the third-ranked high school player in the Philippines, played an all-around game of 17 markers, 10 boards, 5 dimes, and 3 steals.
UST then squeaked by Team Tarlac, 66-62, to also get a Division 1 ticket, as NBTC All-Star Mark Llemit led the Tiger Cubs with 13 markers while James Jumao-as helped the cause with 12 of his own.
Winnipeg, on the other hand, zoomed past Team United, 86-72, behind Lorence dela Cruz’s heroics. The Slam Dunk Contest participant finished with 22 points and 8 boards.
Fellow Canadian squad Toronto demolished St. Benilde International School, 83-63, as Gabriel Obusan was a rebound away from a double-double outing with 18 markers and 9 boards to go along with 5 dimes.
Batang Tiaong turned in the biggest upset of the day by downing fourth-seed Ateneo, 64-41. John Rex Villanueva led the domination with 21 markers, all from triples, as John Mowell Morales also came up with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Pinoy Mavs squeaked past Holy Trinity, 83-79, behind Andre Salomon’s monster game of a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double while Val Mercado scattered 20 on a highly efficient 48% clip.
Level Up Team Abro dumped University of Luzon by a huge margin, 111-74, with six players in double-figures, namely: Ping Xian-Yee with 16, Robert Morado II with 15, Daryl Acero and Patrick Torejas with 14, Norman Cagampang with 12, and Karlo Estomo with 10.
The Dubai Patriots, meanwhile, dealt University of Batangas a close 66-65 defeat behind Joseph Degullado’s 11 markers built on two triples.
Mapua also moved on to Division 1 after reigning over Royal Star Trading-Don Bosco Dumaguete, 92-85. Jonalance Masiglat showed the way with 21 points on a blistering 82% shooting clip.
Pampanga Delta then notched a nightcap win against Homegrown Australia, 84-81, in a tightly contested ball game.
Rhyle Melencio wound up with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Kaden Puletua also finished with a near double-double of 18 markers and 9 boards. – Rappler.com
All games are livestreamed on Facebook on the NBTC, Smart Sports, and Puso Pilipinas pages.
The 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals is sponsored by Tecno, Regent, Rebisco, Jollibee, San Miguel Foundation, Maynilad, Rebel Sports Pilipinas, MNL Kingpin, Gatorade, Swish App, Victory Liner, Jasper Jean, Darlington, Exped, Coach E Basketball School, Lighthouse Events, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
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