MANILA, Philippines -- Nazareth School of National University maintained its spotless record in the UAAP Season 85 boys' basketball tournament after a difficult 74-71 win over De La Salle-Zobel, Sunday at the San Andres Sports Complex Sunday.
The three-peat seeking Bullpups were held scoreless in the final 2:14 of the contest but averted an upset against the Junior Archers.
"Muntik pa kami," said coach Kevin de Castro as NSNU turned the ball over 17 times and allowed De La Salle-Zobel to score 25 points in the payoff period.
"Yung turnovers, ang dami naming ibinigay. Medyo pangit ang inilaro namin this game," the coach admitted.
Two missed free throws by Reinhard Jumamoy with 11 seconds to go left the door open for La Salle-Zobel, but the Junior Archers could not convert in their final possession.
Jumamoy missed on a second straight triple-double, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists to lead the Bullpups, who are now 5-0 and have won 32 straight games.
Rhyie Melencio had 26 points, including a lay-up in the final 1:18 that cut the Junior Archers' deficit to 71-74. He also had 12 boards and three blocks.
Meanwhile, Adamson University remained level with Far Eastern University-Diliman in second place following a wire-to-wire 91-64 win over University of Santo Tomas.
Mat Edding almost had a triple-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists as the Baby Falcons rolled to a fourth straight victory after a season-opening defeat to the Bullpups.
"We really prepared for this game kasi one game ahead sa kanila (Tiger Cubs). 3-1 sila kami 2-2. If we lose tatabla sila sa amin," said coach Mike Fermin. "I told the boys that we needed separation going to this game. Maganda ang three days na preparation."
Vince Reyes chipped in 16 points, eight boards, three assists, three steals and three blocks while Peter Rosillo and Justin Garcia added 13 and 10 points, respectively for Adamson University.
UST, which missed coach Jinino Manansala due to illness, fell to 2-3 to join Ateneo in fourth spot.
Mark Llemit and James Jumao-as each had 16 points for the Tiger Cubs, who trailed by as much as 27 points.
De La Salle-Zobel fell in a tie with UP Integrated School and University of the East from sixth to eighth places at 1-4.
NSNU (74) -- Jumamoy 19, Colonia 15, Demetria 12, Timbang 7, Clarito 6, Tagotongan 6, Yusi 3, Alfanta 2, Herrera 2, Solomon 2.
DLSZ (71) -- Melencio 26, Espina 13, San Agustin 12, Dimaano 9, Chang 5, Melecio 4, Pabellano 2, Dionisio 0, John 0, Sta. Maria 0, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 24-12, 37-32, 63-46, 74-71
AdU (91) -- Edding 19, Reyes 16, Rosillo 13, Garcia 10, Medina 8, Bonzalida 7, Culdora 5, Carillo 5, Abayon 4, Sajili 2, Perez 2, De Guzman 0, Tambauan 0, De Jesus 0.
UST (64) -- Llemit 16, Jumao-as 16, Pangilinan 10, Bucsit 10, Tesocan 6, Naron 4, Esteban 2, Manding 0, Ayon 0, Velasquez 0, Bunenaflor 0.
Quarterscores: 25-15, 46-36, 70-50, 91-64