After keeping NU alive, Alolino keeps Player of the Week
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 15, 2015 12:32 PM
BIG-TIME PLAYER. Time and again this season, Gelo Alolino has player hero for NU.
National University coach Eric Altamirano will not hesitate to give the ball to Gelo Alolino when the game is on the line. And the Bulldogs found themselves in that situation in the UAAP men's basketball tournament last Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Running off a pick-and-roll play, Alolino faked out Francis Tamsi to convert the game-winning jumper with 33.5 seconds left, giving the defending champions a 70-68 win over Far Eastern University.
Alolino finished with 20 points, 15 coming in the second half, while going toe-to-toe with his counterpart Mike Tolomia in last season’s finals rematch. He also contributed four rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 33 minutes of action for the Bulldogs.
“He is the type of player who loves the ball come endgame,” said Altamirano.
Despite playing hero, Alolino credited the great screens that Jeff Javillonar and Alfred Aroga gave him on that key possession, freeing him up for that game-winning sequence.
Alolino’s standout plays earned him a second straight ACCEL Quantum/3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honor.
The fifth-year guard bested University of Santo Tomas’ Kevin Ferrer, La Salle's Jeron Teng and Prince Rivero, and University of the East's Clark Derige and Chris Javier for the weekly individual award given by sports scribes from national dailies and online portals.
Altamirano reaffirmed Alolino and the rest of his team’s readiness next week, whether the Bulldogs will battle La Salle in a playoff or UST in the Final Four.
The Bulldogs ended their elimination run with a 7-7 record to have the inside track on the last Final Four berth. Only La Salle, running fifth at 6-7, can forge a playoff for the fourth spot.
“We are just going to wait for the result of Wednesday's game (between FEU and La Salle),” said Altamirano. “Ang important lang, na-hurdle namin yung assignments namin (What's important is that we were able to hurdle our assignments).”