NU beats La Salle-Zobel in UAAP juniors basketball

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NATIONAL University (NU) routed De La Salle-Zobel, 80-57, to clinch the outright championship berth in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 juniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City on Saturday.

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Justine Baltazar tallied his 11th double-double of the season with 18 points and the same number of rebounds to power the Bullpups in finishing eliminations with a perfect 14-0 record.

Seeking to regain the crown it won two years ago, NU also bagged the thrice-to-beat incentive for sweeping the double-round eliminations.

After a 10-point first quarter, Aljun Melecio was held to eight points the rest of way as the Junior Warriors settled for second place with an 11-3 card. Defending champion Ateneo de Manila University blasted Far Eastern University (FEU)-Diliman, 78-53, to cap the elims at solo third with a 10-4 slate. Jolo Mendoza came through with 17 points highlighted by a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the distance for the Blue Eaglets. The Baby Tamaraws, who were paced by Eric Jabel’s 12 markers, wound up in fourth with an 8-6 card.

The stepladder semifinals starts at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the same venue, with Ateneo and FEU battling in a do-or-die match for the right to face twice-to-beat De La Salle-Zobel.

Adamson defeated University of Santo Tomas, 77-63, to end its season in fifth place with a even 7-7 mark, while University of the Philippines Integrated School scored a 99-79 rout of University of the East for a 2-12 card in seventh.

The Junior Warriors finished winless for the second straight season.

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  1. Huraaah! That’s for NU for coming out again. Way back when I was young in 70s to 90s, NU was the laughing stock of UAAP, but not anymore! Congrats to the new owner, faculty, and students of NU.