Ateneo Blue Eaglets unseat NU to win UAAP juniors basketball title
MANILA, Philippines - Jolo Mendoza went "YOLO" for a career-high 30 points on Friday, February 20 to lead the Ateneo Blue Eaglets to a 90-73 Game 3 victory over the National University Bullpups to clinch the UAAP Season 77 juniors basketball title at The Arena in San Juan, Philippines.
The 5-foot-9 17-year-old Mendoza was named the Finals MVP with averages of 21.3PPG, 5.3RPG and 2.7APG, according to UAAP statician Pong Ducanes.
Mendoza had help from Matt Nieto, who scored 25 points of his own, including 16/17 from the free-throw line.
The Bullpups, which had won the juniors title in two of the last three seasons, were led by John Clemente's 24 points and 7 rebounds.
The Blue Eaglets led 52-34 at halftime following a 19-point second quarter by Mendoza, but National refused to go away, coming to within 5 points late in the fourth quarter.
The game turned in Ateneo's favor once and for all when Nieto sank four straight free throws with 4:37 left after a Dan Atienza unsportsmanlike foul. On the ensuing possession, Nieto pushed the lead to 14, 83-69, with a three-pointer.
The win gives the Blue Eaglets their first UAAP juniors title since 2011, when they capped off a three-peat. Ateneo de Manila University now has 18 total UAAP juniors basketball championships. - Rappler.com