REIGNING UAAP champion National University and Far Eastern University outplayed their rivals from the NCAA and advanced to the semifinals of the 8th PSSBC-Freego Cup on Tuesday at the SGS Stadium in Quezon City.
Also the defending champion of the event dubbed as Tournament of Champions, the Bullpups needed a big finishing kick to beat NCAA runners-up Lyceum Junior Pirates, 108-82, while the Baby Tamaraws defeated the La Salle Greenies, 82-75.
Protecting a slim 77-69 lead, the Bullpups, bannered by Steve Enriquez, Carl Tamayo, Harold Alarcon and Kevin Quiambao, came through with a decisive run to finally take the fight out of the Junior Pirates and stay on course for a projected title clash with NCAA champion San Beda.
In another show of balanced firepower, six NU players tallied in double figures with Enriquez and Alarcon finishing with 16 points to emerge as co-best players.
Nathaniel Tulabut, Quimbao, Abadiano and Tamayo combined for 51 points.
The Red Cubs also rode on an explosive fourth-quarter performance to dispatch the Adamson Baby Falcons, 97-75, in the event also sponsored by Poly-Gloss, IronCon Builders, Macbeth Underwear, Happy Toothpaste, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, MEC Networks and Blackwater Sports.
In the semis, the Bullpups will face the Ateneo Eaglets, who carved out an 86-73 win over the Adamson Baby Falcons in the tournament which also has the backing of Molten, Gerry’s Grill, Cherrylume, Sumo GI Sheet and Choi Garden.
Francis Lopez and Forthsky Padrigao scored 15 and 13 points, respectively, for the Eaglets.
The Red Cubs, on the other hand, were paced by Yukien Andrada, who scattered 19 points while Rhayyan Amsali and Justine Sanchez wound up with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
League chairman Eduard Tio of Freego said the champion team will receive P50,000.
Both FEU and Ateneo are still searching for their first-ever title.