NUNS survives 51-point outing from Fil-Am Nation’s Panganiban to rule U19

LOCAL bet National University-Nazareth School (NUNS)survived the 51-point eruption of Naomi Panganiban for the fancied Fil-Am Nation Select Girls 1, 78-73, to reign supreme in the Manila Live Girls Under-19 Championships powered by the Smart-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Cielo Pagaduan and Alicia Villanueva joined hands with 26 and 18 points, respectively, to neutralize the Fil-Am hotshot Ms. Panganiban and anchor the Lady Bullpups’ perfect run in the 14-team tourney that featured a bevy of international squads.

NUNS swept the pool play before dominating Joflow Academy in the quarterfinals, 85-45, and University of Santo Tomas, 88-71, in the Final Four to advance to the Last Dance.

And the Lady Bullpups did not shy away from the challenge from there on even against the Filipino-American stalwarts, standing their ground in the opening salvo before breaking out for a 41-32 lead at the turn.

Ms. Panganiban, despite the defeat, was named the Tournament MVP following her scoring masterclass built on five treys and 12-of-14 freethrow clip. A former Gilas Pilipinas girls standout, Ms. Panganiban averaged 38.8 points on five triples in the first invitational tourney held simultaneously with the Smart-NBTC National Finals.. — John Bryan Ulanday