The two big men of the Nazareth School-National University Bullpups, Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao, outworked the Ateneo Blue Eaglets’ twin towers Kai Sotto and Geo Chiu in Game 1 of the 81st University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) junior basketball tournament.
The 6’7” Tamayo and the 6’6” Quiambao made their presence felt in the final period to help lift the Bullpups to a 70-58 beating of the Blue Eaglets yesterday in Game 1 of their best-of-three finals series at the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center in San Juan.
They created openings for top gunners Terrence Fortea and Cyril Gonzales in the last three minutes, and their heroics put the Bullpups a win closer to their seventh crown since 1963.
Tamayo tallied 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Quiambao made 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who could snatch the defending champion Blue Eaglets’ title if they win again on Friday in Game 2.
“Sa first half, unsettled ang kanilang composure. Pero sa second half, nakita natin ang laro ng tunay na Bullpups,” said Bullpups’ coach Goldwin Monteverde.
Fortea banged in 11 points with Gerry Abadiano, including two triples in the last 29 seconds of the third period.
Fortea’s treys allowed the Bullpups to take command and keep their distance with a 53-45 edge at the end of the quarter.
The Blue Eaglets struggled to keep up and managed to stay within range off JC Fetalvero’s treys, 58-62, with 1:31 to go.
But the Bullpups took advantage of Chiu’s missed trey and stayed out of reach behind Fortea’s two freebies for a 67-58 lead.
The 7’1” Sotto drilled in 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Blue Eaglets, while Chiu tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Eaglets were leading in the second period until a triple from Tamayo allowed the Bullpups to turn the tables on Ateneo, 40-38, with 4:43 left.
The Bullpups then moved away, 45-38, on Abadiano’s layup and a split charity from Fortea.
- Tamayo 15, Quiambao 14, Abadiano 11, Fortea 11, Gonzales 9, Felicida 9, Torres 1, Dayrit 0, Alarcon 0, Javillonar 0, Mailim 0.
- Sotto 16, Chiu 12, Fetalvero 11, De Ayre 7, Diaz 5, Padrigao 4, Espinosa 2, David 1, Jaymalin 0. Quarters: 14-11, 25-30, 53-45, 70-58.