NATIONAL University pummeled De La Salle-Zobel, 72-50, on Tuesday to clinch a finals berth in the UAAP Season 79 juniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
John Lloyd Clemente scored 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting as the Bullpups advanced to the finals for the sixth straight time.
Rhayyan Amsali dominated the boards as he collared 11 rebounds for the top-ranked Bullpups in the wire-to-wire victory over the fourth-seeded Junior Archers.
NU awaits the winner of the Ateneo-Far Eastern University series.
“I’m happy for the boys because they performed better. They delivered. We are ready for the championship,” said NU consultant Jeff Napa.
So dominating were the Bullpups that they led by as many as 24 points with Clemente the only double-digit scorer.
“Siguro maganda ang gising niya. Nandun siya sa flow ng offense. It so happened na tumatama sa kanya lahat. Hindi naman siya totally ang hinahanap. Nandun siya sa routine ng play na ginagawa niya. Happy ako dahil hindi lang dahil sa kanya, dahil din sa mga teammates niya,” said Napa.
The Bullpups are now aiming for their fourth title in six years, and their first back-to-back crown in their UAAP stint.
Jan Sobrevega had 13 points for the Junior Archers.
NU 72 – Clemente 28, Amsali 9, Sarip 9, Atienza 8, Coyoca 6, Fortea 5, Malonzo 3, Manalang 2, Penano 2, Tolentino 0, Callejo 0, Peralta 0, Pangilinan 0, Mosqueda 0, Dela Cruz 0.
DLSZ 50 – Sobrevega 13, Romero 8, Vista 6, Terrado 6, Mariano 4, Umali 4, Cosejo 3, Natividad 3, Carlos 2, Diaz 1, Santos 0, Laurente 0, Vesagas 0, Damiles 0, Cortez 0, Chavez 0.
Quarterscores: 17-8; 39-20; 51-42; 72-50.