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MANILA, Philippines – The National University-Nazareth School did not miss a beat despite a one-month break as it thwarted the Far Eastern University-Diliman, 79-61, to move on the cusp of the title and sweeping the UAAP Season 82 boys’ basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre on Friday, March 6.
Up by 7 points at halftime, the Bullpups broke the game wide open after outscoring the Baby Tamaraws 24-12 in a fiery third-quarter showcase to go into the payoff period comfortably ahead 67-48.
Gerry Abadiano then gave NU its biggest lead of the game at 25, 76-51, with less than 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
“We started slow on the defensive end but fortunately, the boys bounced back in the second quarter,” NU coach Goldwin Monteverde said in Filipino.
The Bullpups fell behind by 14 points to start the game, 3-17, before Terrence Fortea led the fightback as his side seized a 43-36 halftime advantage.
Fortea topscored for NU with 24 points on a 50% shooting clip while Abadiano backstopped him with 14 markers, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.
“As a veteran in this team, I saw our first group did not have a good start, so my mindset coming in was to lift the team up,” said Fortea.
Twin towers Kevin Quiambao and Carl Tamayo provided identical numbers of 12 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
Nathaniel Tulabut chipped in 10 markers and 8 rebounds for NU.
Chiolo Anonuevo paced FEU with 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting, alongside 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.
Penny Estacio, the Baby Tamaraws’ leading scorer, was held to just 6 markers on a dismal 1-of-17 clip.
The Bullpups look to capture their second consecutive championship on Monday, March 9, at the same venue.
NU-NS 79 – Fortea 24, Abadiano 14, Quiambao 12, Tamayo 12, Tulabut 10, Felicilda 3, Alarcon 2, Torres 2, Enriquez 0.
FEU-D 61 – Anonuevo 13, Bautista 10, Pasaol 10, Libago 8, Bagunu 7, Estacio 6, Sleat 4, Padrones 3, Saldua 0.
Quarters: 17-22, 43-36, 67-48, 79-61.