MANILA, Philippines—National University frustrated Far Eastern University-Diliman’s bid for a sweep with an 80-75 triumph, also securing the final four format in the 75th UAAP juniors basketball competition at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The determined Bullbups leaned on a telling run in the payoff period to be the first and the last to dent record of the Baby Tamaraws in the eliminations round, and also nab a twice-to-beat edge.
Reggie Morido paced NU with 23 point markers.
But even with an identical record of 13-1, FEU-Diliman banked on superior quotient to finish atop while NU was relegated to second place.
It would be a quite a match-up if the Bullpups and the Baby Tamaraws face each other anew in the finals, with their elimination round meeting tied at 1-1.
Standing in their way, though, are University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs and Ateneo Blue Eaglets, who both settled their spots in the final four also Sunday, over at the Arena in San Juan.
Prince Martin scored 18 points as the Tiger Cubs bucked a late rally by the Blue Eaglets for a 72-64 win to clinch the number three rank with a 10-4 card.
Not even another phenomenal triple double of Thirdy Ravena, with 14 points, 14 rebounds and 11 markers, could lift Ateneo, which finished the eliminations with 8-6 and settled for the fourth spot.
But FEU’s women’s hoops squad accomplished what the Baby Tamaraws couldn’t—sweep the elimination round.
The defending champion Lady Tamaraws are going straight to the finals of the women’s basketball tournament with a 14-0 record after 58-50 win over NU.
Allana Lim had 23 points and 10 rebounds to give FEU a “thrice-to-beat” incentive in the finals as the three other squads battle it out to face them.
NU, meanwhile, will clash with Ateneo Lady Eagles for just a spot in the step-ladder semifinals, with the winner facing Adamson to kick off the semis.
La Salle, which took second place after the eliminations, then takes on the victor of the first step-ladder match to determine who goes to the finale.