National University (NU) toppled Ateneo de Manila University, 81-74, in Game 2 to clinch the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 76 juniors basketball title on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Hubert Cani exploded anew for the NU Bullpups as he banged in 25 points, six rebounds and a steal while John Paul Cauilan backed him up with a double-double output of 18 points and 15 rebounds.
The Bullpups swept the Blue Eaglets in their championship showdown, 2-0, as NU also won in Game 1 via 101-93 overtime win last Monday.
Carlos Lopena added 10 markers while Lorenzo Battad had nine points and four assists, and Mark Dyke contributed eight points and 14 boards for NU.
Cani took the Finals Most Valuable Player award after averaging 24.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the series.
Season MVP Thirdy Ravena led the Blue Eaglets with 27 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block while Jose Mendoza chipped in 15 points and four boards. Aaron Black, who scored 30 points in Game 1, was limited to just 12 points.
The Bullpups had 22 turnover points, 13 second chance points and 11 fastbreak points, a bit higher than the Blue Eaglets’ nine turnover points, six second chance points and seven fastbreak points.
It was NU’s second title in the Final Four era. The Bullpups also won in 2011. Overall, NU has four crowns counting the two titles in the 1971 and 1974 editions.