No rust, all bite.
The Nazareth School of NU picked up from where they left off and reminded everyone why they are undefeated after masterfully defeating De La Salle Zobel, 78-58, in Game 1 of the UAAP Junior Basketball Finals at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
Despite not playing competitive basketball in the last couple of weeks, the Bullpups showed no sign of rust on Thursday to be 1 game away from high school basketball glory.
“Di pa tapos ang laban, may kailangan pa kami tapusin talaga. But still, day in, day out, all out parin. In Game 2, we have to prepare. Kasi alam naman namin yung Zobel, kahit anong mangyari they will come out strong pa rin,” said Bullpups head coach Jeff Napa.
With their offensive rhythm and suffocating defense in sync right from the get-go, the Bullpups established an 18-point cushion in the 1st half before blowing out the Junior Archers in the final frame where they held the biggest lead of 31.
John Lloyd Clemente started sizzling for NU, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the 1st half while birthday boy and big man Justine Baltazar exploded for 15 points, 27 rebounds and 4 blocks.
“From Justine to the last man, kumbaga walang superstar tong team na to. They’re doing their job lang talaga. Defense and offense,” shared Napa.
League MVP Aljun Melecio chipped in 15 points, 7 boards, 6 assists for Zobel but was hounded by NU’s defense as he also committed 5 turnovers.
After an all-team effort in their win against defending champion Ateneo last Monday, the Junior Archers’ bench was limited to 13 points this time.
NU’s reserves, meanwhile, combined for 38 points. — By Jason Mercene