MANILA, Philippines -- National University (NU) weathered a late Ateneo de Manila University fightback in the final quarter and held on for a 78-71 triumph in the second round of the UAAP Season 81 juniors basketball tournament on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea each scored 16 points while Ernest Felicida contributed 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Bullpups.
But it was Carl Tamayo's three-point play in the final 46.3 seconds that keyed NU's seventh win in eight contests.
The Bullpups have now swept the Blue Eaglets in the elimination round, but Coach Goldwyn Monteverde was quick to downplay their achievement.
"It's just a part of the schedule," said Monteverde.
Kai Sotto, the leading season MVP contender, had 22 points, 18 boards, five assists and three blocks for the Blue Eaglets.
Ateneo, which came back from a 55-66 hole before falling short, has now lost two straight.
University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) was also in the spotlight as it finally entered the win column with a big second half for a 64-56 victory of De La Salle-Zobel.
The rookie-laden Junior Maroons, who went winless in the first round, ended an 11-game losing streak dating back from last season.
"Motivated na sila. They wanted to win," said coach Paolo Mendoza, a former UPIS legend.
Allen Torres came through with 22 points, including a couple of big treys in the final frame that keyed the Junior Maroons' breakthrough win, while Polo Labao, one of the three seniors, chipped in 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists and five steals.
JB Sajonia had 21 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals while RJ Abarrientos had a double-double outing of 17 points and 10 boards as Far Eastern University-Diliman bested Adamson University, 80-72, for its sixth win in eight contests.
The Baby Falcons fell at 5-3 with the Eaglets in joint third.
In the other match, rookie Mark Nonoy tallied his second triple-double of the season with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as University of Santo Tomas rout University of the East, 85-63. The Tiger Cubs rose to 4-4 and seized the No. 5 spot after the Junior Archers (3-5) lost to the Junior Maroons.
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