NU Bullpups still a force to be reckoned with in PSSBC despite Justine Baltazar departure
Former NU Bullpups star Justine Salazar now plays for La Salle in the UAAP seniors basketball tournament. Jaime Campos

Their most important player in an impressive title run in the UAAP last season is no longer around, but don’t underestimate the National University Bullpups.

Despite the graduation of Justine Baltazar, the Bullpups have enough players willing to accept the challenge to lead the team to another championship if given the opportunity to shine.

That’s precisely the reason why Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy has picked NU as the team to beat in the in the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) MEC Network Cup which begins on December 10 at the SGS gym in Quezon City.

“They (Bullpups) lost one valuable player but they remain formidable,” said Sy, who is a member of the PSSBC Board of Govenors. “They have chemistry because they have been playing together for around two to three years already.”

Inheriting Baltazar’s leadership role is Rhayyan Amsali. Like Baltazar, Amsali can score in bunches with his feathery touch and fine moves inside the shaded lane.

The two other valuable players in NU roster are John Lloyd Clemente and Winderlich Coyoca.

“These two players have potential to become successful collegiate players. If they stay focused, they can even play in the PBA someday,” Sy added.

Winner of three of last five UAAP championships, the NU Bulldogs are confident they can also dominate the annual tournament dubbed as “Battle of Champions.”

Aside from Sy’s Blackwater and Leoncio Chua’s MEC Network, other godfathers of the elite tournament are Rudy Yu’s Dickies Underwear,Terry Que’s Poly Gloss Automotive Polyurethane System, Jimi Lim’s Ironcon Builders, Cecilio Pedro’s Hapee Toothpaste, , Eduard Tio’s Freego and Jimmy dela Cruz’s Ché Lu Bar & Grill.

The tournament has also the backing Choi Garden, Hanabishi, World Balance, Davies Paints, and Philippine Airlines.

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