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Smart NBTC: NUNS stuns Fil-Nation, secures three-peat


NU-Nazareth School scored its third straight – and fourth overall – championship in the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals after zooming past FilNation Select-USA, 75-64, in the Division 1 Finals at Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

After a neck-and-neck first three quarters, the Bullpups went on a late fourth quarter surge to trounce the Fil-Americans and re-assert their dominance behind the heroics of Reinhard Jumamoy and RJ Colonia.

“We did not even think that this would be our fourth [title.] I just told the boys to treat this game like Gilas vs. USA. That was the fire that I used for them to get going in this game,” said first-year head coach Kevin de Castro, who continues the winning tradition set in place by mentor Jeff Napa and ex-shot-caller Goldwin Monteverde.

“We’re blessed because somehow, we have a player like Reinhard who can lead the team. We went through defeats in the UAAP, we got one here in the NBTC and hopefully, he brings it to college,” he continued.

NUNS was dethroned in the recently-concluded UAAP 85 Boys Basketball Tournament, but didn’t let lightning strike twice in this tourney backed by Smart, SM, Strong Realty and Development Corp., Under Armour, and Molten.

Jumamoy, who has already committed to moving up from the Bullpups to the Bulldogs, powered his side to victory with a triple-double performance of 16 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals. His stellar performance throughout the tournament also earned him the Ato Badolato Most Outstanding Player (MOP) award.

With the score tied at 63-all in the final frame, Pervy Timbang got a wide-open layup on a fastbreak, which was followed by a Colonia bucket that granted the Bullpups a four-point cushion, 67-63, with 2:40 minutes remaining.

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Colonia, Jumamoy’s running mate, wound up with a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double of his own, while Kurt Perciano also added 10 markers.

Jason Mandaquit Jr. was the high-point man for Fil-Nation Select with 16 markers and six boards. Jacob Bayla also tallied a double-double in a losing effort with 13 markers and 10 boards.

Joining MOP Jumamoy in the Division 1 Mythical Team are Colonia, Mandaquit, and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s Jared Bahay and Raffy Celis.NBTC-DIVISION-2-CHAMPION-TARLAC-2139 Smart NBTC: NUNS stuns Fil-Nation, secures three-peat Basketball NBTC News NU  - philippine sports news

Meanwhile, Team Tarlac claimed the Division 2 championship with a come-from-behind win against Royal Trading Star Don Bosco-Dumaguete, 86-84.

Don Bosco led by as much as 20 points in the first half before Team Tarlac went on a masterful second half run to notch the province’s first-ever national under-19 title in this tourney.

Kit Bonus came away with 21 points, five steals, four rebounds, and three blocks. RJ Liwanag contributed 18 points while Jahmir Adrian Eligado chipped in 16 markers.

MJ Hendric Vailoces registered 16 markers while Jay Stephen Garupil added 15 to his name in the Dumaguete defeat.

The Division 2 Mythical Team is then bannered by MOP Earl Sapasap of champion Team Tarlac alongside Don Bosco-Dumaguete’s Matthew Jucom, Ateneo’s Lebron Nieto, Homegrown Australia’s Kaden Puletua, and Doc Boleros-NCR’s Sean Bondoc.

The biggest grassroots event also supported by Tecno, Regent, Rebisco, Jollibee, San Miguel Corp., Maynilad, Rebel Sports Pilipinas, MNL Kingpin, Gatorade, Swish App by NBN23, Victory Liner, Jasper Jean, Darlington, Exped, Mr. Freeze, Coach E Basketball School, Lighthouse Events, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was live all day and every day in the NBTC, Smart Sports, and Puso Pilipinas Facebook pages.

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