NU dethrones Ateneo for UAAP season 81 juniors crown
MANILA, Philippines—Nazareth School of National University is back on the throne after its sweep of Ateneo, culminating in a 64-53 Game 2 win in the UAAP Season 81 juniors’ basketball finals Friday at FilOil Flying V Center.
The Bullpups vacated the throne room for three years after winning the title back in 2016 with Justine Baltazar and John Lloyd Clemente spearheading the team.
It was still a tight contest midway through the fourth with NU holding on to a slim 50-49 lead with 6:41 to play.
Slowly but surely, the Bullpups built a lead and Terrence Fortea’s three made it an eight-point game, 59-51, with 2:31 left in the game.
Things got bad to worse for former champion Ateneo when Forthsky Padrigao went down with a knee injury at the same time as Fortea made his gutsy triple.
Carl Tamayo put up a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Bullpups while Cyril Gonzales added his own line of 10 points and 10 boards.
Fortea paced NU’s offense with 15 points.
Season MVP Kai Sotto led Ateneo with 26 points and 25 rebounds.