National University came from behind to force the game into overtime to beat Ateneo de Manila University, 101-93, and build a 1-0 edge in the UAAP juniors basketball finals on Monday at The Arena in San Juan Arena.
Mythical Team member Hubert Cani led the Bullpups with 24 points, six rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Manuel Mosqueda had 22 points, four rebounds, four assists and a block.
The Bullpups hold a thrice-to-beat advantage after sweeping the elimination round. They will try to clinch the title in Game 2 scheduled on Wednesday at the same venue.
Aaron Black led the Blue Eaglets with 30 points and eight rebounds while Matthew Nieto added 18 points.
This season’s Most Valuable Player Thirdy Ravena had a triple-double performance of 14 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, while Michael Nieto and Jose Mendoza combined for 21 points.
Ateneo was comfortably ahead, 86-75, in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter but NU unleashed an 11-0 bomb to push the game into overtime.
The Bullpups outscored the Blue Eaglets in the extra period, 15-7, to seal the win. EMIL C. NOGUERA