La Salle-Zobel fends off NU, stays alive in UAAP juniors hoops finals
De La Salle Zobel lives to fight another day.
The Junior Archers shocked powerhouse Nazareth School of National University with a 70-61 Game 2 victory Friday to extend the UAAP Season 78 juniors’ basketball Finals and hand the Bullpups their first loss of the season.
Marco Sario paced La Salle Zobel with 16 points and four rebounds, while Most Valuable Player Aljun Melecio did it all, pouring 14 markers, dishing nine assists, and grabbing four boards to deal the Bullpups their first defeat of the season.
MR Romero also got a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“We are just out to prove that we are a worthy challengers. We not in the Finals for nothing,” said Junior Archers coach Boris Aldeguer.
Sario fired back-to-back treys and Brent Paraiso nailed a jumper to help the Junior Archers break off from a 30-all halftime to a 47-36 lead in the third quarter.
John Lloyd Clemente opened the fourth with five straight points to cut the deficit to just one, 57-56, but La Salle Zobel had all the answers and limited the Bullpups to just four points the rest of the way.
Clemente captained NU with 25 points and six rebounds, while Justine Baltazar had 15 markers and 20 boards as the Bullpups saw their perfect season go down the drain.
Game 3 is next Friday at the same venue.
Earlier, Melecio became the first MVP from De La Salle Zobel, and was joined by the NU duo of Baltazar and Clemente, and UPIS’ Javi and Juan Gomez de Llanos in the Mythical Team.
DLSZ (71) – Sario 16, Melecio 14, Romero 14, Fortuna 8, Mariano 6, Sobrevega 5, Tongco 4, Paraiso 2, Cabarrus 2, Salafranca 0.
NU (60) – Clemente 25, Baltazar 15, Amsali 7, Peñano 4, Coyoca 4, Atienza 2, Sarip 2, Jugar 1, Callejo 0, Manalang 0, Tolentino 0.
Quarterscores: 14-17, 30-30, 57-51, 71-60