Halfway through the third quarter, it was already apparent as to who will emerge as the country’s “prince of hoops”.
And there was no doubt about it as defending champion UAAP champion National University overpowered reigning titlist San Beda University,105-80, to become the first back-to-back champion of the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship-Freegto Cup Thursday at the SGS Stadium in Quezon City.
With Gerry Abadiano scoring almost at will, the Bullpups steadily pulled away until they practically settled the issue with five minutes left in the third when their lead ballooned to 26 points (80-54).
At the end of the third quarter, the 5-foot-11 Abadiano had already 29 points to his credit on 8-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 from the 3-point zone.
He went on to finish with 35 points with Terrence Fortea backing him up with 23 points spiked by six triples in the event also sponsored by Poly-Gloss, IronCon Builders, Macbeth Underwear, Happy Toothpaste, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, MEC Networks and Blackwater Sports.
“Magaling talaga ang batang iyan,” said NU coach Goldwin Monteverde, who also drew stellar performances from two his big men in Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao.
Quiambao and Tamayo wound up with 14 points and 12 points, respectively, apart from anchoring the team’s rock-solid defense that held SBU star Justine Sanchez to just three points.
Quiambao was named tournament MVP for the second straight year while Abadiano was the hands-down choice for the Final MVP in the event also supported by Molten, Gerry’s Grill, Cherrylume, Sumo GI Sheet and Choi Garden.
Meantime, Far Eastern University wound up third after edging Ateneo, 82-76, thanks to the 29-point show of John Rey Pasaol.
NU’s title win was its 12th in a row counting its triumphs in the UAAP, Palarong Pambansa, the NBTC, and ASEAN Schools championships.
The Bullpups also collected P50,000 from Freego big boss Eduard Tio while the Red Cubs settled for P30,000. The Baby Tamaraws received P20,000.
NU 105 – Abadiano 35, Fortea 23, Quiambao 14, Tamayo 12, Tulabut 11, Felicilda 6, Torres 4, Alarcon 0, Enriquez 0, Mailim 0, Buensalida 0.
SBU 80 – Ynot 21, Alcantara 13, Cabañero 13, Amsali 10, Andrada 9, Delfino 6, Sanchez 3, Pelipel 2, Oftana 2, Valencia 1, Pascual 0, Maga 0, Peregrina 0, Nicdao 0.
Quarterscores: 34-20, 61-45, 84-60, 105-80.