NU on brink of juniors basketball sweep with rout of UE

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--NU bucked off a surprisingly close first quarter against UE and moved to within a win from a 14-0 UAAP juniors basketball sweep with a 94-60 blowout at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Wednesday.

With the Junior Warriors just within two, 20-22, at the end of the first quarter, the Bullpups stifled their opponents in the next two quarters, limiting them to a combined 17 points while scorching for 49 points en route to the smooth victory.

Justine Baltazar fired 16 points while also tallying 16 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks for NU, which can complete the sweep on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Final Four cast is now complete following FEU-FERN's win over UPIS and Adamson's loss to La Salle-Zobel.

The Junior Archers first put the Baby Falcons in danger of relegation with a victory in a low-scoring affair, 47-35.

La Salle-Zobel got an offensive outburst in the fourth quarter to pull away from Adamson in the game where the latter only scored three points in the final frame and the former only tallying two in the third.

Aljun Melecio struggled from the field but still finished with a game-high 14 points with nine rebounds, one assist, and two steals for the Junior Archers, who in the process secured the other twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.

The Baby Tamaraws then officially shut the doors on the Baby Falcons with an 81-71 beating of the Junior Maroons.

FEU-FERN put an early work on UPIS, opening an 18-point halftime lead, 39-21, and held on despite the latter finally getting its shots in the second half.

Eric Jabel sizzled for 22 points along with eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal for the Baby Tamaraws, who are a full game behind the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, an 80-57 winner over the UST Tiger Cubs in the curtain-raiser, for the third seed.

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