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(C) Julius Domondon/UAAP Season 86 Media Team


NUNS, FEU-D earn spots in inaugural UAAP JHSBB championship

National University Nazareth School and Far Eastern University-Diliman will vie for the inaugural UAAP Junior High School Basketball championship. However, both squads needed to earn their tickets to the Big Dance on Sunday at Amoranto Arena.

The top-seeded Bullpups narrowly escaped the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs, 77-73, while the Baby Tamaraws needed extra time to fend off the University of the East Junior Warriors, 79-77.

The winner-take-all final is set on Saturday at the same Quezon City venue.

This will mark Bullpups head coach Kevin De Castro’s third finals appearance in the UAAP.

“Sana, third time’s the charm. Sana makuha na this year,” quipped the 31-year-old former Bulldog, who lost in the High School Boys’ Basketball Finals of seasons 85 and 86 to FEU-D and Adamson, respectively.

For Baby Tamaraws head coach Mark Isip, on the other hand, the top two teams facing off was the story of the entire single round-robin tournament.

“Rightfully so. The narrative from the start of the season was number 1 going up against number 2. We’ll give it our all for the inaugural title,” said Isip as both NUNS and FEU-D finished the elimination round with identical 5-1 records.

The Bullpups defeated the Baby Tams in their sole elimination round encounter, 70-61.

NUNS found an unlikely hero in Fave Quinto to fend off UST.

Clinging to a 67-65 lead, Quinto scored five straight points to give NUNS some breathing room.

It was the separation needed by the Bullpups, who leaned on the steady free-throw shooting of MVP frontrunner Shaun Lucido to seal the victory.

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“Siyempre, sobrang nakaka-proud. Kitang-kita yung leadership ni Mot (Matias) and at the same time yung 1-2 punch ko na si Shaun (Lucido) at Rob (Celiz) lumabas. Nag-deliver din si Chester (Tulabut),” said De Castro.

Lucido overcame his horrid 6-of-25 shooting from the field, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

Second-generation hoopers Matias and Celiz also delivered, with the former tallying 16 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, and three steals while the latter chipping in 11 points on two triples.

UAAP86-JHSBB-JHARRED-GUTIERREZ-1976 NUNS, FEU-D earn spots in inaugural UAAP JHSBB championship Basketball FEU News NU UAAP UE UST  - philippine sports news

(C) Julius Domondon/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Meanwhile, the Baby Tamaraws needed a bit of luck to eliminate the Junior Warriors.

Jharred Gutierrez took charge to start overtime, scoring five straight points to give the green-and-gold side a 77-72 lead.

With 1:26 remaining, Mav Mesina knocked down a clutch corner trey, cutting the lead of FEU-D to 79-77.

In the closing seconds of the contest, Jastien Dagcutan missed two free throws with 5.4 seconds left.

However, Sizco Roquid overcooked his fastbreak layup as time expired.

“Good thing our team is resilient. We had a lot of players in foul trouble and some players not playing to the standards that we set for them. But next man up. That has been our mantra the entire tournament,” said Isip.

Gutierrez stepped up big time for the Baby Tams as the duo of Pat Pasinos and Pascual struggled in the 45-minute affair, tallying 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with 11 rebounds.

Supporting Gutierrez were Jastien Dagcutan (14 points), JB Cagurungan (13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), and Mark Dulin (13 points, 8 rebounds).

UAAP86-JHSBB-ANDWELE-CABANERO-0904 NUNS, FEU-D earn spots in inaugural UAAP JHSBB championship Basketball FEU News NU UAAP UE UST  - philippine sports news

(C) Julius Domondon/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Andwele Cabanero paced UST with 18 points and nine rebounds while Sean Bohol tallied a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double.

UAAP86-JHSBB-SIZCO-ROQUID-1810 NUNS, FEU-D earn spots in inaugural UAAP JHSBB championship Basketball FEU News NU UAAP UE UST  - philippine sports news

(C) Julius Domondon/UAAP Season 86 Media Team

UE, which battled from an 11-point deficit with three minutes left to send the game into overtime, had Roquid lead the way with 17 points.

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Despite battling foul trouble all game long, Ethan Aguas still produced 17 points and 10 rebounds.

UST and UE will figure in the battle for bronze also on Saturday at 1:00 PM.

The individual awardees will be crowned prior to the championship game.

The Scores:

Semis 1:
NUNS 77 Lucido 21, Matias 16, Celiz 11, Qiunto 9, Tulabut 6, Sison 6, Tolentino 3, Vitug 3, Sundiang 2, Callueng 0, Tacneng 0.
UST 73 – Cabanero 19, Bathan 18, Cinco 13, Bohol 12, Dela Cruz 4, Guerrero 3, Knowles 2, Sy 2, De Castro 0, Castro 0.
Quarterscores: 21-21, 38-38, 58-54, 77-73

Semis 2:
FEU-D 79 Gutierrez 18, Dagcutan 14, Cagurungan 13, Dulin 13, Carino 8, Pasinos 7, Lopez 3, Pascual 2, Chua 1.
UE 77 – Roquid 17, Aguas 17, Abellar 13, Mesina 10, Bungar 8, Bual 5, Garcia 3, Dahino 2, Oraa 2.
Quarterscores: 15-15, 40-38, 52-46, 72-72, 79-77.

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