TERRENCE Fortea caught fire and propelled Nazareth School of National University to the top seed of the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball tournament, dismantling University of the Philippines Integrated School, 106-55, on Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The senior guard drilled six treys on his way to 23 points, to go with one rebound and one assist in his return from a one-game game suspension.
Gerry Abadiano provided support for his backcourt partner with 17 points, three boards, three dimes and two steals, while Steve Nash Enriquez added 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist.
Kevin Quiambao manned the paint for the Bullpups, posting a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds with also made a block, as Carl Tamayo did his share with eight and six to annex their side's winning run to seven straight games.
NU improved to a 12-1 win-loss record as it locked up the No. 1 spot in the Final Four which comes with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Though already assured of that incentive, Bullpups coach Goldwin Monteverde refused to sit idle as he demands continuous brilliance from his wards.
"We still have to be ready for the semis. After ng dalawang rounds, mas importante pa rin yung latter part of the season," he said.
NU wasted no time breaking away from UPIS, starting off hot with a 29-10 opening barrage and even extended the lead to 53.
King Vergiere paced the Junior Maroons with 23 points, as Ralph Labao got 15 points and nine boards.
UPIS suffered its fifth straight defeat and remained at the cellar at 1-12.
NSNU 106 - Fortea 23, Abadiano 17, Enriquez 12, Quiambao 10, Alarcon 9, Tamayo 8, Vinoya 6, Gonzales 6, Felicilda 4, Javillonar 4, Torres 3, Songcuya 2, Abiera 2, Buensalida 0, Dayrit 0, Mailim 0.
UPIS 55 - Vergeire 16, Labao 15, Tuazon 13, Estrera 11, Galotera 0, Abreu 0, Cordero 0, Armamento 0, Lopez 0, Villaverde 0, Napalang 0.
Quarterscores: 29-10; 52-25; 84-40; 106-55.