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Bullpups wallop Baby Falcons to clinch stepladder bonus

By Dugout Philippines

Defending champion NU led by as much as 32 points and coasted to a 72-45 win over Adamson to clinch the twice-to-beat semifinals incentive in the UAAP Season 77 juniors basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle gym.         

The Baby Falcons opened the game by scoring a free throw in the early goings, but it was an all-Bullpups show, as Mark Dyke mocked all defenses thrown at him to clinch the No. 2 seed in the stepladder semifinals.         

NU will face the winner of tomorrow's first stepladder match between No. 3 Adamson and No. 4 La Salle-Zobel. The second stepladder game will be played on Saturday, with the Bullpups needing only to win once to advance to the Finals for the fourth straight season.        

Season 76 runner-up Ateneo is in the Finals with a tremendous thrice-to-beat incentive after sweeping the 14-game eliminations.

Dyke scored 23 points and pulled down 26 rebounds, 16 came in the first half as NU took a commanding 41-21 advantage.  

Philip Manalang also had a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards, Jordan Sta. Ana had 13 markers, while John Clemente added 12 points for the Bullpups.

NU is gunning to complete a triple crown, having won the men's and women's basketball championships last October.   

Miguel Sasuman paced the Baby Falcons with 13 points while James Pasturan added 11 markers.        

Adamson is making its first post-season appearance in high school play since 2008.