Bullpups bank on 3Q spurt, nip Eaglets to open UAAP juniors 2nd round

By Ricky Manliguis

SAN JUAN-- National University bucked a slow start to beat the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, 78-71, at the start of second round festivities of the UAAP Season LXXIX juniors basketball tournament at the FilOil-Flying V Centre Jan.14.

With leading scorers John Lloyd Clemente and Rhayyan Amsali plagued with foul trouble all game, the troika of Karl Peñano, Muhammad Sarip, and Paul Manalang joined forces in a 23-9 third-quarter assault to turn a 33-38 deficit to a 56-47 cushion en route to its seventh win in eight matches.

Drawing another brilliant performance from its bench, Peñano led the charge for the defending champions with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, Manalang had 16 with six rebounds, while Sarip issued a near-double double of 10 and nine boards.

Clemente and Amsali came away with seven and six markers, respectively.

NU’s second-stringers produced 56 bench points, double the production of the Eaglets (28).
Team consultant Jeff Napa was ejected midway in the third period for excessive complaining which sparked the uprising.   

Ateneo had its three-game win run snapped to fall to an even 4-4 mark for fourth place. SJ Belangel paced the team with 14 points, while Shaun Dave Ildefonso was the other twin-digit scorer with 10.

The scores:
NU 78 – Penano 19, Manalang 16, Sarip 10, Amsali 7, Clemente 6, Coyoca 5, Tolentino 5, Malonzo 4, Callejo 2, Fortea 2, Dela Cruz 2, Atienza 0.
Ateneo 71 – Belangel 14, Ildefonso 10, Salazar 8, Angeles 8, Manuel 8, Sotto 8, Berjay 6, Credo 6, Escalona 3, Laud 0.

Quarter Scores: 13-13, 33-38, 58-52, 78-71

Follow him on Twitter: @Teaching_Hero