NU routs defending champ FEU; Kieffer Alas dominates in UAAP juniors

Kieffer Alas La Salle-Zobel UAAP

De La Salle-Zobel’s Kieffer Alas shoots a jumper against UE in the UAAP Season 86 high school boys basketball tournament.–UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–National University Nazareth School opened its redemption tour with a 70-56 win over titleholder Far Eastern University-Diliman in the UAAP Season 86 high school boys basketball tournament Tuesday at the Amoranto Arena.

Debuting Nigerian big man Collins Akowe lived up to the billing, producing monster numbers of 17 points, 21 rebounds, and three blocks while Mac Mac Alfanta chipped in 14 points for the Bullpups, who were eliminated by the same team a season ago in the semis.

“Kanina very happy kasi yung mga players ko kanina nag step up. Actually, wala yung dalawang point guards ko kanina si (Klein) Tagotongan and si (Thomas) Pillado,” said second year Bullpups head coach Kevin De Castro as Tagotongan was nursing a sprained right foot while Pillado had the case of the chicken pox.

“They lived up to the challenge na madala yung team kahit undermanned. Sabi ko, kahit defending champion kalaban natin, gawa tayo ng statement today.”

Even with the graduation of last season’s MVP Reinhard Jumamoy, NUNS looked sharp as ever boosted by Akowe’s presence in the middle.

“Malaking bagay si Collins sa amin on both ends. Siya yung anchor namin kaya we rely on him,” said De Castro. “Kahit papano, nagmamature na siya kasi alam natin na iba yung Philippine basketball style. We just told him to play his game.”

Collins Akowe NU Bullpups UAAP

NU Bullpups’ Collins Akowe.–UAAP PHOTO

Jedric Daa and Liam Salangsang had 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Baby Tamaraws, who trailed by as much as 22 points.

While FEU-Diliman stumbled in its first match, last season’s runner-up Adamson University had a winning start.

Gabe de Jesus shot 20 points while Earl Medina added 17 points, six steals, five rebounds, and two steals as the Baby Falcons spoiled Manu Iñigo’s coaching debut for University of Santo Tomas with a 95-81 victory.

Kieffer Alas, the Fiba Under-16 Asian Championship 2023 Mythical Team member, produced a solid all-around game of 32 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and two steals as De La Salle-Zobel outlasted University of the East, 79-76.

Transferee Ziv Espinas debuted with 19 points, 15 rebounds and six assists as Ateneo scored a 93-86 victory over UP Integrated School.

Action resumes Tuesday at the Adamson Gym, with the Junior Archers taking on the Baby Tamaraws at 1 p.m., followed by the 3 p.m. clash between the Bullpups and the Junior Warriors.

“We’ll stick to our system. At least we have a week of preparation para sa kanila,” said De Castro about the retooled Red Warriors.

The Scores:

First game

Ateneo (93) – Espinas 19, Ebdane 17, Porter 15, Urbina 8, Madrangca 6, Prado 6, Lagdamen 5, Delos Santos 5, De Guzman 4, Domangcas 3, Suico 2, Tupas 2, Ong 1, Asistio 0.

UPIS (86) – Valdeavilla 30, Tubongbanua 20, Melicor 16, Egea 9, Gomez de Liaño 9, Hernandez 2, Coronel 0.

Quarterscores: 35-25, 52-48, 74-65, 93-86

Second game

NUNS (70) – Akowe 17, Alfanta 14, Barraca 11, Reroma 8, Yusi 8, Palanca 6, Nepacema 5, Solomon 2, Cartel 0, Usop 0, Napa 0, Figueroa 0.

FEU-D (56) – Daa 11, Salangsan 10, Miranda 9, Cabonilas 8, Miller 4, Mecha 4, Pre 3, Habito 3, Gordon 2, Burgos 2, De Guzman 0, Cabigting 0, Gemao 0, Godoy 0, Castillejos 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 19-17, 34-28, 55-41, 70-56

Third game

DLSZ (79) – Alas 32, Dimaano 11, Espina 10, Daja 9, Dabao 6, Atienza 4, Pabellano 3, Gubat 2, Favis 2, Lopez 0, Cruz 0, Domangcas 0, Arboleda 0, Sta. Maria 0, Manganaan 0.

UE (76) – Sabroso 16, Lagat 16, Alejandro 13, De Leon 9, Nurjadden 8, Farochilen 6, Sarza 2, Erlance 2, Despi 1, Suria 1, Malonzo 0.

Quarterscores: 11-22, 35-41, 54-51, 79-76

Fourth game

AdU (95) – De Jesus 20, Medina 17, Garcia 11, Abayon 9, Bonzalida 9, Tumaneng 8, Reyes 5, Perez 5, Carillo 3, Artango 3, Esperanza 2, Sajili 2, Umali 1.

UST (81) – Bucsit 18, Dungo 15, Buenaflor 12, Verzosa 12, Ludovice 9, Manding 5, Zanoria 5, Lim 4, Reyes 1, Ronquillo 0, Loreto 0, Velasquez 0.

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Quarterscores: 31-17, 51-35, 75-61, 95-81

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