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NU completes juniors basketball sweep with rout of La Salle-Zobel


By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--NU accomplished a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations of the UAAP juniors basketball tournament with an 80-57 blowout win over La Salle-Zobel at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Saturday.

The Bullpups pulled away for good from a 16-all first quarter deadlock with the Junior Archers by going for a 26-13 second quarter and a 22-13 third quarter.

Justine Baltazar led NU, which will go straight to the finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage, with 18 points, 18 rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal, while Daniel Atienza and John Lloyd Clemente each chipped in 15 points.

Aljun Melecio also made 18 markers for La Salle-Zobel but made only five of 19 field goals and two of 11 triples.

Despite the loss, the Junior Archers gained a first round bye in the stepladder playoffs and will have a twice-to-beat advantage against the winner of the knockout game between Ateneo and FEU-FERN.

Meanwhile, in a preview of the said playoff opener, Ateneo mauled FEU-FERN, 78-53.

The Blue Eaglets bludgeoned the Baby Tamaraws from the opening tip-off to give them some momentum entering their win-or-go-home rematch on Wednesday at the said venue.

Jolo Mendoza fired 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Ateneo while making all of his three triples.

In the other results, UPIS and Adamson ended their season on a high note with lopsided victories.

The Junior Maroons blasted the UE Junior Warriors, 99-79, while the Baby Falcons squandered the UST Tiger Cubs, 77-63.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno