NATIONAL University moved within a win of another perfect title romp as University of the East also brought its surprise run all the way to the finals of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
Denice Villamor and Gelo Alolino teamed up for 33 points as the unbeaten Bulldogs dismantled NCAA champion San Beda, 74-57, to advance to the finals yesterday at Filoil Flying V Arena.
“We were really disciplined and we were able to focus on defense,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “We were able to control our rebounds and we limited their (Red Lions) transition game.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, mounted a huge fightback to stun University of Santo Tomas, 77-75, in the other Final Four pairing.
Roi Sumang, Charles Mammie and JM Noble knocked in 16 points each to lead the Warriors’ incredible comeback from 16 points down, 50-34, against the veteran Tigers.
“Down the line we showed determination, that’s the most important thing,” UE coach Boycie Zamar said after his Warriors, seventh placer in the last UAAP, secured a title slot.
But the Warriors will face a heavy favorite in the do-or-die finals as the Bulldogs stretched their unbeaten run in the tournament to 21 games since last year.
The Warriors closed out the third quarter with 16-6 outburst to trim a huge 50-34 gap to just six points, 56-50.
Sustaining their blistering run, the Warriors dropped another 14-3 salvo to grab the advantage, 64-59, as the Tigers struggled with key cogs Karim Abdul, Jeric Teng and Kevin Ferrer all fouling out inside the last three minutes.
UE 77–Sumang 16, Mammie 16, Noble 16, Javier 9, Jumao-as 5, Santos 5, Casajeros 3, Sumido 3, Olivarez 2, Hernandez 2, Flores 0, Bonleon 0, Guiyon 0, Olayon 0.
UST 75–Ferrer 19, Abdul 14, Teng 12, Mariano 12, Pe 8, Bautista 6, Daquioag 4, Lo 0, So 0, Hainga 0.
Quarters: 14-22, 26-39, 50-56, 77-75
NU 74–Villamor 18, Alolino 15, Parks 12, Mbe 11, Aroga 7, Alejandro 5, De Guzman 2, Javillonar 2, Rosario 2, Roño 0.
SAN BEDA 57–Amer 19, Dela Cruz 16, Adeogun 10, Dela Rosa 4, Semerad D. 4, Pascual 2, Abarcar 2, Bonsubre 0, Semerad A. 0, Koga 0, Sara 0, Villaruz 0.
Quarters: 20-17, 39-36, 51-42, 74-57