UAAP Basketball

FEU dethrones NU, claims last UAAP junior hoops title berth
FEU dethrones NU, claims last UAAP junior hoops title berth 

TOP SCORER. Kirby Mongcopa looks to pass against the NU defense.


FEU outlasts defending champion NU in their do-or-die semifinal match to arrange a title showdown against Adamson

MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University-Diliman made sure to take full control this time.

The FEU Baby Tamaraws pulled away early then held off National University-Nazareth School’s late run, 71-65, to claim the last title berth in the UAAP juniors basketball tournament on Friday, March 10 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Kirby Mongcopa posted a double-double of 15 points and 16 rebounds to go along with 5 blocks as the Baby Tamaraws ended the Bullpups’ bid for a third straight crown.

Jedric Daa also had 15 points to go with 8 boards and 3 assists for FEU, which held a twice-to-beat advantage as the No. 2 seed before NU forced a decider with a 93-82 win in the opener last Tuesday.

FEU will fight for the crown against the Adamson Baby Falcons, the No. 1 seed who eliminated the UST Tiger Cubs in their own semifinal duel.  

The Baby Tams led by as many as 17 points after a Mongcopa triple at the 3:38 mark of the third quarter, 51-34.

But the Bullpups managed to put up a late fight and threatened within five, 70-65, on a Jedrick Solomon layup with 45 seconds remaining.

That, however, turned out to be NU’s final bucket as FEU held on and ended the Bullpups’ streak of nine straight finals appearances.

In his final game for the Bullpups, MVP contender Reinhard Jumamoy had a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds to go with 6 steals and 2 assists.

“Congratulations to our boys, they didn’t fold in this game,” said FEU coach Allan Albano in Filipino after his Baby Tamaraws advanced to the title round for the second straight season.

“We were lucky that the breaks of the game favored us. Our confidence got boosted early.”

FEU will face an Adamson side vying for a historic title romp after claiming its first finals berth in 20 years. 

Game 1 of the best-of-three finals is set at 2 pm on Tuesday, March 14.  

The scores

FEU 71 – Daa 15, Mongcopa 15, Pasaol 11, Miranda 9, Felipe 9, Pre 6, Salangsang 2, Cabonilas 2, Pascual 2, Bautista 2.

NU 65 – Jumamoy 19, Timbang 16, Yusi 12, Colonia 11, Solomon 4, Perciano 2, Alfanta 1, Barraca 0, Tagotongan 0, Usop 0, Herrera 0.

Quarters: 20-11, 38-28, 56-42, 71-65.

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