Bullpups, Lady Tams bag UAAP titles
MANILA, Philippines—National University capped its remarkable UAAP run with a historic championship in the juniors basketball tournament Sunday.
The Bullpups stunned the top-seeded Far Eastern University Baby Tams in the deciding Game 3, 72-63, to capture their first league crown in almost four decades at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
But FEU consoled itself by playing the spoiler’s role in the women’s division as the Lady Tamaraws foiled Adamson’s bid for a third straight crown, 68-57, in another winner-take-all finale.
Finals MVP Raphael Atangan posted a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds and Ralph Tansingco shone as well with 18 markers and seven boards for the Bullpups.
The No. 3 Bullpups, who also overcame the twice-to-beat advantage of No. 2 La Salle Zobel in the Final Four, claimed their first juniors crown since 1974.
“We had to go through the eye of the needle and that was really a big factor,” said NU coach Jeff Napa. “It was a good experience and it really gave our boys the confidence.”
Season MVP Raiza Palmera led the Lady Tamaraws with 24 points, while Finals MVP Allana Lim added 19 markers and eight rebounds.
“Our veterans were hungry,” said coach Allan Albano of his Lady Tamaraws, runners-up to the Lady Falcons in the last two seasons.
The Lady Tamaraws rose from a 0-1 series deficit with the Lady Falcons taking Game 1, 60-53, before forging an emphatic 72-50 Game 2 win to forge a decider.
NU matched the same feat against the Baby Tams. Led by season MVP Jerie Pingoy, FEU posted a 71-67 win in the opener, before the Bullpups leveled the series, 57-46.
“We never thought we’d make it to the Finals,” said Atangan, who averaged 15.3 points, 10 rebounds, 1.7 assists and two steals in the Finals. “We just believed in our system.”
The Bullpups pulled away from a slim 63-62 lead as Atangan scored five of their last nine points in the closing two minutes.
First Game (Women)
FEU 68—Palmera 24, Lim, 19, Columna 14, Borja 5, Valenzona 2, Yazon 2, Soriano 2, Sambile 0, Tiu 0, Supnet 0.
ADAMSON 57—Penaranda 16, Ortega 14, Buendia 13, Bernardo 6, Balasta 5, De Leon 2, Taroja 1, Avila 0, Versoza 0, Taller, 0.
Quarters: 19-11, 37-14, 48-34, 68-57
Second Game (Jrs)
NATIONAL U 72—Tansingco 18, Atangan18, Busa 15, Baliton 8, Rivero 5, Tendenilla 3, Subrabas 3, Napa 2, Villagracia 0, Lopena 0, Lapiz 0, Cauilan 0.
FEU 63—Pingoy 15, Aguilon 15, Domingo 9, Luz 8, Domingo 4, You 3, Palacio 3, Hassan A. 2, Delfinado 2, Estacio 2, Hassan J. 0, Estarada 0, San Jose 0.
Quarters: 16-14, 31-37, 47-46, 72-63