MANILA – National University Bullpups moved on the verge of ruling the UAAP Season 81 juniors basketball after a 70-58 win over Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eaglets in Game 1 of the finals on Monday at the San Juan Arena.
Carl Tamayo led the way with double-double 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Kevin Quiambao submitted 14 points and 13 boards for the Bullpups, which can clinch the crown in Game 2 on Friday.
Both Tamayo and Quiambao were also responsible on making it hard for Blue Eaglets’ 7-foot-1 center Kai Sotto to impose his presence as he just finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Trailing 25-30 at the half, the Bullpups started its move in the third period with a triple from Tamayo and a conversion from Ilonggo Gerry Abadiano to seize a 44-38 advantage.
The Blue Eaglets attempted to come close in the fourth quarter but Tamayo and Quiambao went on to score inside before Terrence Fortea put on the finishing touches for the Bullpups.
“Nung first half, parang nagmamadali kami sa execution. Siguro sobrang excited din ng mga players pero buti nakabawi kami nung second half,” said Bullpups head coach Goldwin Monteverde.
Geo Chiu added double-double 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Forthsky Padrigao struggled heavily for the defending champions Blue Eaglets as he only has four points on 2-of-13 shooting./PN