FEU, NU forge jr cage duel; Ateneo, UP tankers shineBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
FAR Eastern University and National University arranged a title showdown in juniors basketball while Ateneo and University of the Philippines reigned in swimming in UAAP action over the weekend.
Back-to-back MVP Jerie Pingoy and Joshua Aguilon fired 19 points each as the top-seeded Baby Tamaraws tripped Ateneo, 70-67, in the juniors Final Four at Filoil Flying V Arena.
The defending champion Bullpups also downed University of Santo Tomas, 78-66, in their own semifinal duel where NU standouts Hubert Cani posted 21 points and six rebounds and Raphael Atangan collected 18 markers, four assists and three blocks.
In swimming, Ateneo copped its first men’s crown even as UP bagged its fourth straight women’s championship at Trace Aquatics Center in Los Baños.
Whitney Dy, Tiara Tudio, Dennice Cordero and Tin Hipol set a new league record in the 400-meter medley relay (4:39.97) to lead the Lady Maroons, who extended their reign by amassing 568 points.
Ateneo, propped up by Rookie of the Year Axel Ngui’s six-gold and one-silver medal haul, topped the tightly contested men’s race with 365 points.
La Salle’s Johansen Aguilar, last season’s Athlete of the Year, copped his second men’s MVP plum but could only lead the Archers to a runner-up finish this time with 347 points.
Ateneo also ruled boys’ swimming as MVP Gerard Reyes powered the Blue Eaglets to their eighth straight title.
University of the East also emerged as back-to-back girls’ champion behind top rookie Carmenrose Matabuena.
In women’s basketball, Snow Peñaranda buried 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as No. 3 Adamson ousted fourth-ranked Ateneo, 68-61, in the stepladder semifinals.
The Lady Falcons advance against No. 2 La Salle, which owns a twice-to-beat edge.
FEU secured an outright Finals stint and a thrice-to-beat incentive after sweeping its 14 elimination games.