NU Bullpups subdue San Beda Red Cubs for first NBTC title
The fourth time’s the charm for National University as it finally got its first national title after holding off San Beda, 84-74, in the finals of the SM National Basketball Training Center Division I Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
It was also sweet revenge for the Bullpups who avenged their semifinal loss to the Red Cubs in last year’s tournament.
Bullpups head coach Jeff Napa said he’s happy that the team will only be losing two players by the end of the UAAP Season 78.
“Sa pang apat na beses nakuha na rin namin, masaya ako para sa mga bata at para sa school, na prove nilang number one sila sa Pilipinas,” Napa, who steered the Bullpups to three UAAP titles, said.
“We emphasized our advantage, from the point to the bigs we have the advantage. Nakilala kami sa defense and that’s where we focused in.”
NU could’ve just cruise controlled its way in the fourth after ending the third leading, 61-45, but the Red Cubs rallied with two triples and three free throws to cut the lead to 79-74.
Justine Baltazar, though, would have his moment as he bailed the Bullpups with jumper from the free throw line with 46.2 seconds remaining to give NU the 84-74 lead.
Finals MVP John Lloyd Clemente showed why he’s an offensive force to be reckoned with as he finished with a game-high 20 points while shooting 4-of-6 from deep.
Baltazar, the most outstanding defender of the tournament, tallied 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while power forward Karl Peñano also put up 12 points for NU.
Albert Bordeos led San Beda with 15 points while Germy Mahinay had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
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