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Blue Eaglets bounce back, down Bullpups to draw near UAAP crown

John Clemente goes for a runner. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN CITY, MM--Ateneo held on to a 78-76 win against NU to come to within a win from the UAAP juniors basketball title at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The Blue Eaglets built a 13-point cushion and staved a late Bullpups rally to bounce back from a bitter defeat last Friday that ended their 14-game winning streak.

Jolo Mendoza hit 20 points while grabbing four rebounds and three assists, while Mythical Team member Matt Nieto added 18 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals for Ateneo, which can clinch the title on Friday.

Most Valuable Player awardee Mike Nieto contributed 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, a block, and a steal for the Blue Eaglets.

Philip Manalang made 19 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while Mark Dyke had 12 points and 16 rebounds for NU.

Box Scores:

Ateneo 78-Mendoza 20, Ma. Nieto 18, Mi. Nieto 16, Mamuyac 10, Ildefonso 6, Andrade 4, Joson 2, Ramos 2, Hassan 0, Salandanan 0, Eustaquio 0, Rosales 0, Bernardo 0

NU 76-Manalang 19, Dyke 12, Clemente 12, Baltazar 10, Ferreras 8, Mina 7, Sta. Ana 6, De Guzman 2, Calma 0, Claveria 0, Atienza 0, Camaso 0, Callejo 0, Saquian 0

Quarterscores: 19-18, 40-36, 67-54, 78-76