Bulldogs break through Warriors to barge into win column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 07, 2016 04:46 PM
Bulldogs break through Warriors to barge into win column
NOT THIS TIME. NU avoided a winless start to the season after defeating UE in their tournament-opener.

National University has been hyping a much-improved offense, but it was still their trademark defense that saw them through victory to open the 79th Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Allowing no makes in the last 94 seconds and then proving steady from the stripe, the Bulldogs withstood pressure-packing University of the East for a 72-66 decision on Wednesday at the MOA Arena.

“I told the boys it was a game of runs,” coach Eric Altamirano said in his post-game conference.

Indeed, the contest was close all throughout and NU was clinging onto a one-point lead with 1:34 remaining before Alfred Aroga’s short stab padded their margin to 69-66. From that point, they amped up their defensive intensity and forced their opponents into settling for contested shots.

At the other end, the Bulldogs were also shut down from the field, but got themselves into the line where Revrev Diputado, J-Jay Alejandro, and Aroga made good on three-of-six. “I think our defense bailed us out in the fourth,” Altamirano expressed.

Clearly, the trademark defense of NU remains as they suffocated the Red Warriors into a horrendous shooting percentage of 29.5.

Now without Gelo Alolino, the role of closer went to Aroga who delivered 10 of his 16 points in the final frame to go along with a total of 13 rebounds and four blocks. Nothing but satisfied from what he saw from his team captain, Altamirano said, “Alfred was there when we needed him most.”

Alejandro and Revrev Diputado added 13 and nine points, respectively, as the Bulldogs won right from the start of the tournament unlike last season when they stumbled to three losses in a row.

Bonbon Batiller paced UE with 18 points, but none coming in the last two minutes.

BOX SCORES

NU 72 – Aroga 16, Alejandro 13, Diputado R 9, Salem 7, Morido 7, Rangel 7, Abatayo 5, Diputado C 3, Gallego 2, Sinclair 2, Pate 1, Mosquada 0, Salim 0, Yu 0

UE 66 – Batiller 18, Pasaol 10, De Leon 8, Penuela 7, Olayon 7, Varilla 5, Charcos 4, Abanto 2, Palma 2, Acuno 2, Gagate 1, Manalang 0, Armenion 0, Larupay 0, Derige 0, Bartolome 0

QUARTER SCORES: 16-15, 38-33, 47-46, 72-66

---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

Latest News