Diputado finishes what Salem started as NU downs Ateneo

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 11, 2016 06:58 PM
Diputado finishes what Salem started as NU downs Ateneo
FINISH HIM. Revrev Diputado steadied NU down the stretch in their convincing victory versus Ateneo.

Since the graduation of Troy Rosario, National University has been searching for an answer to be Alfred Aroga’s frontcourt partner.

They just may have finally found what they have been looking for now in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Pumping all but three of his 12 points in the third quarter, Matt Salem was the centerpiece of the decisive run that eventually ended up as the Bulldogs’ 70-60 triumph over Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The two teams were neck-and-neck following two quarters of play until Salem’s five straight points capped off a 19-5 burst that boosted NU ahead, 51-37, at the 2:51 mark of the third. In all, his nine points in the quarter matched what all of the Blue Eagles mustered in the same time frame.

However, little-known Anton Asistio led Ateneo into clawing their way back to just 56-61 inside the last four minutes. It was at that point that Revrev Diputado, Alfred Aroga, Reggie Boy Morido, and J-Jay Alejandro connived for a 9-1 finishing kick that sealed the deal on the Bulldogs’ second straight win to start the season.

Now tied atop the leaderboard with title favorite De La Salle University, coach Eric Altamirano said, “Our work is still not done yet.”

Salem fronted the pivotal push, but it was Diputado who served as NU’s engine throughout the matchup. He scattered 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Aroga and Morido chipped in 11 and 10 points each.

Mike Nieto paced the Eagles with 14 points, but was the lone player in double-digits as they dropped to 1-1.

BOX SCORES

NU 70 – Diputado R 16, Salem 12, Aroga 11, Morido 10, Alejandro 8, Salim 4, Diputado C 4, Rangel 2, Gallego 2, Pate 1, Abatayo 0, Mosqueda 0, Yu 0, Go 0, Sinclair 0

ATENEO 60 – Nieto Mi 14, Wong 9, Asistio 8, Ikeh 8, Nieto Ma 7, Babilonia 4, Black 4, Ravena 2, Go 2, Verano 2, Tolentino 0, Porter 0

QUARTER SCORES: 20-20, 32-32, 52-41, 70-60

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