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Baby Tamaraws stay hot; UE, NU prevail

Jedrick Daa waxed hot while VJ Pre chipped in an all-around outing to power Far Eastern University-Diliman to a 97-59 crushing of University of the Philippines Integrated School in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines high school boys’ basketball tournament yesterday at the San Andres Sports Complex.

Daa fired 16 points while Pre produced 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Baby Tams, who collected their second straight victory for a 4-1 win-loss slate.

Meanwhile, University of the East barged into the win column after pulling off a stunning 84-79 upset of Ateneo High School while National University eked out a thrilling 74-71 victory over De La Salle-Zobel.

FEU coach Allan Albano was satisfied with the Baby Tamaraws’ performance as well as their ranking in the early stretch of the tournament.

“At least we’re already in the Final Four position even if it’s still too early to tell. We’re in a very good position at 4-1,” said Albano, who is back on the bench after missing a couple of games to attend to personal matters.

“But we still need to improve our mindset and decision-making because the boys tend to relax.”

Against Ateneo, Ken Arcega delivered the biggest basket off a Justine Gatchalian assist in the final 1:12 to give the Junior Warriors an 82-75 lead and lift them to their first victory.

The Blue Eagles loss, the third in five games, negated Kristian Porter’s 34-point explosion.

“Their perspective during the game, they are very positive to beat Ateneo,” UE team official Gerry Venturina, speaking on behalf of coach Ronnie Dojillo, said.

“Of course, the ball is round. We don’t know what the outcome will be and we are grateful that we emerged as the winner of this game.”

Vhon Roldan led the Junior Warriors with 24 points, four rebounds, and two steals, Gatchalian had nine points, five steals, and two assists, while Andei de Leon contributed eight assists, eight points, and six rebounds to go with +15 efficiency.

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