National University refused to exit with a whimper on a stormy Tuesday morning, and got back at Far Eastern University, 57-46, to extend their juniors championship series to a third game in UAAP Season 74 basketball at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
It was a different NU squad that showed up while Typhoon Pedring was ravaging the archipelago as the Bullpups scratched, barked and bit their way past the Baby Tamaraws in the Game Two encounter despite FEU dominating in the first two quarters.
NU leaned on a balanced attack against the Baby Tamaraws, who snatched Game One last Saturday, 71-67.
Raphael Atangan scattered 20 points and hauled down 11 rebounds and booked three steals, and Paolo Rivero grabbed 14 rebounds to go with his 11 points for the Bullpups, who moved a win shy of bringing home NU’s first league championship since its men’s team topped the chess competitions in 1986.
Norjohn Tendenilla contributed 10 points and five other Bullpups scored two or more points in the match the Baby Tamaraws controlled in the first two quarters only to yield to NU’s furious second-half comeback.
Juniors Most Valuable Player Jerie Pingoy was again the main gunner for FEU, but was the only double-digit scorer for his team, which lost its grip of the game in the third quarter where it was outscored, 19-10. Pingoy had 21 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Inspired by their explosive third quarter, the Bullpups dominated their rivals in the fourth by limiting the Baby Tamaraws to only seven points while scoring 19 of their own.
Game Three will be played Saturday also at the Big Dome.