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Bulldogs rip Pirates in Bayugan

By Jerome Lagunzad

National University continued its rampage while University of Santo Tomas dodged an upset ax on Wednesday night as they completed a sweep of their respective groups in the 8th Mayor Kim Lope A. Asis Invitationals at the packed Lope Asis Memorial Gymnasium in Bayugan City, Agusan Del Sur.

The Madyaw Construction-backed Bulldogs wasted no time in pouncing on the weary ARQ Builders-supported Lyceum Pirates, 91-81, to emerge as the Group A topnotcher at the end of the preliminary round.

Guard Chami Diputado banged in 10 of his team-high 15 points in the opening period while center Tsaddy Rangel asserted himself down low with 14 points for NU, which took control early on and led by as many as 24 points in the second half.

“It’s great to see our guys embrace and thrive on the system that we’re instilling to them. More than the victory, we are pleased with how they are executing our plays, especially on breaking the Pirates’ vaunted pressure,” said Bulldogs acting tactician Odick Reyes.

Not to be outdone were the Vincare Pharma-supported Growling Tigers, who needed a five-minute extension to hold off the Mair Construction-backed Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras, 95-89, in Day 2 of the inter-collegiate event in southern Philippines.

Renzo Subido sustained his gunslinging ways with 21 points, 14 of them in the final 15 minutes, while backcourt partner Kenneth Zamora added 10 points for UST, which claimed the top spot in Group B and set up an intriguing knockout semifinals showdown with Lyceum on Thursday night.

The Pirates, composed of Team B players, opened their campaign in the tourney which is being held as part of the annual celebration for Bayugan’s 11th Charter Day and Bayugan Festival with an 85-67 thumping of the Greene Builders-backed Xavier University Crusaders on Wednesday morning.