NAZARETH School of National University did not miss a beat in its debut in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC National Finals presented by SM, manhandling Isabela Colleges-Cauayan by 90 points, 135-45, Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Terrence Fortea led the Bullpups’ balanced beatdown with 19 points on 4-of-11 shooting from downtown. Diminutive guard Steve Nash Enriquez made the most of his 13 minutes on the floor with 17 markers on 7-of-10 shooting with two rebounds and two steals.
“Actually, nag-usap na kami before the game how to be consistent sa ginagawa namin,” said champion coach Goldwin Monteverde. “We had a great campaign in the UAAP and nag-pick up din kami sa tinatakbo namin.”
The defending champions pounced on Isabela with an early 37-4 barrage. NU kept its foot on the gas, posting a 50-point lead, 62-12, after a Reyland Torres fastbreak layup near the end of the first half.
They then pushed their gap up to 93 points in the final frame as 13 of 15 players breached the 10-minute mark in the runaway victory.
FilAm Sports USA also continued its dominant stretch, drubbing Perpetual Help-JONELTA, 86-55.
Lanky forward Kainoa Ballungay had another great outing, leading the Fil-Ams with 24 points and 10 rebounds, including 11 markers in the first quarter alone. The 6-foot-7 swingman hailing from Ilocos Norte is averaging 21.5 points and 11 rebounds in two games.
FilAm Sports now moves on to the Supreme 16 to face either the Kai Sotto-led Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglets or Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite.
Jeron Artest, son of NBA champion Metta World Peace, added 12 points in this one with 10 boards and 6 assists. Reigning FIBA Under-17 World Cup MVP Jalen Green, meanwhile, chipped in 11 markers and four dimes.
While the second day of this tournament had its fair share of blowout affairs, it also had a helping of thrilling finishes such as Far Eastern University-Diliman Manila outgunning St. Augustine-Pampanga, 90-86.
After being down by as many as 12 points, 69-57, in the 3rd quarter, RJ Abarrientos woke up and dropped 16 of his 21 markers in the final frame. The spitfire lead guard went on a perfect 5-of-5 clip from downtown to help push the Baby Tamaraws onto the next round.
In Palm Coast Marina, Vance Caterbas scored the game-winning putback at the buzzer to lift Southern Philippine Colleges-Cagayan de Oro to a 69-67 stunner over AusPinoy Australia. Calayan Educational Foundation-Lucena also shocked Team Italy Europe Proudly Pinoy with a 69-63 squeaker, as reigning NCAA champions Mapua University survived a late fightback from Zamboanga del Sur National High School Pagadian, 54-46.
The week-long tourney, sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, Molten, and presented by 5Plus and Lighthouse Events, moves on to the Supreme 16 still open to the public.