NU stuns Ateneo in OT in UAAP juniors
MANILA, Philippines – The National University (NU) Bullpups overcame a double-digit deficit in the final three minutes to stun the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, 101-93, in overtime of Game 1 of the UAAP Season 76 juniors basketball finals.
The Bullpups, who swept the elimination round of the competition to earn a thrice-to-beat advantage, won their 15th consecutive game and are now just one win away from their second championship in two years.
The Blue Eaglets led 86-75 with 2:54 to go in the game, but surrendered an 11-0 run as the Hubert Cani-led Bullpups forced an extra period.
A free throw by Jose Mendoza early in the overtime period gave Ateneo their last lead, 87-86, but it was all NU from that point on as the Bullpups outscored the Eaglets, 26-7, from the 2:52 mark of the fourth until the end of overtime.
Five players scored in double-digits for NU, led by Cani with 24 points, six rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Mark Dyke (16 points, 20 rebounds) and John Cauilan (17 points, 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles.
The loss wasted a 30-point explosion from Aaron Black, who went 15-of-22 from the field and added eight rebounds in 30 minutes of playing time.
Newly minted juniors MVP Thirdy Ravena had a triple double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, while Mike Nieto added 11 points and 10 boards.
Game 2 of the UAAP juniors finals is on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.