Three-peat seeking Nazareth School of National University reasserted its mastery of Ateneo, 86-78, to bolster its chances for a higher Final Four ranking Sunday in the UAAP Season 85 high school boys’ basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
RJ Colonia had 22 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, Reinhard Jumamoy flirted with a triple-double of 19 points, 10 boards, and eight assists, while Macmac Alfanta scored six of his 10 points in the Bullpups’ 28-point fourth period that frustrated the Blue Eagles.
“Statement win sa amin,” said first-year mentor Kevin de Castro as NSNU moved up to 8-1. “’Yung second round, ang gusto namin, ‘yung goal namin is to win as many games as possible.”
“Tough one ‘yung next game namin against Adamson. Alam ninyo naman ‘yung Adamson gustong bumawi sa amin kasi tinalo namin noong first round. Crucial ang game namin kasi sila ang isa sa mga contenders,” he added.
The Bullpups nipped the Baby Falcons, 79-76, on opening day.
Later, Adamson primed up its Wednesday showdown with NSNU with an 81-70 romp of UP Integrated School.
Despite winning their eighth consecutive game, coach Mike Fermin was not satisfied with the way his Baby Falcons played which they cannot afford against the Bullpups.
“It was a good game but it was a sloppy win for us. Ang dami naming turnovers, mga miscues sa defense. It means na marami pang kailangang ayusin going into that game against a very strong team,” said Fermin.
Surigao native Peter Rosillo led Adamson with 23 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Justine Garcia chipped in 16 points.
“We had a bad practice yesterday (Saturday). Malaking epekto ‘yung bad practice namin pero dahil sa sistema, nagawan namin ng paraan ma-correct ‘yung mistakes namin sa defense. Still, nakuha pa namin ang panalo,” said Rosillo.
NSNU struggled in the first three quarters, sorely missing one of their bigs Aga Clarito, who was ruled out due to personal reasons, before turning things around in the fourth quarter.
Ateneo suffered its sixth loss in nine games.
Kristian Porter had 26 points and 16 rebounds while LeBron Nieto chipped in 24 points, six boards, and five assists for the Blue Eagles.
Jonas Napalang led the Junior Fighting Maroons with 24 points, four assists, four rebounds, and two steals, while Kobe Demisana had 16 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks.