Bulldogs keep competitive Tigers out of win column
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 20, 2017 04:10 PM
JUST ENOUGH. J-Jay Alejandro did it all as NU returned to the win column at the expense of UST.
National University was pushed to the limit by very game University of Sto. Tomas on Wednesday at the MOA Arena.
The Bulldogs' combination of experience and youth won out in the end, however, as they registered a 94-84 decision over the Tigers that puts them back inside the win column in the UAAP 80 Men's Basketball Tournament.
Four days after going toe-to-toe with the defending champions, Jamike Jarin's boys had a tougher time getting going in this one. “Coming into the game, I really felt it was gonna be hard-fought because we knew they will come out slugging,” the head coach said post-game.
NU was clinging onto only a three-point lead with two minutes remaining until veteran Dave Wilson Yu made good on a three and then rookie Jordan Bartlett made good on a fastbreak layup to spark their seven unanswered points to close the contest.
Yu made an impact every moment he was on the floor and finished with 13 points built on three triples in 19 minutes of play. Bartlett also added nine markers, three rebounds, and two assists as a follow-up to his breakout game the last time around.
Senegalese Issa Gaye towered above all for a total of 17 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks to help lift his team to its second win in three games.
Still, Jarin said it was team captain J-Jay Alejandro who was the straw that stirred the drink, doing it all yet again with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. “He doesn’t get talked about, but J-Jay has been filling the stat sheet for us,” his mentor said.
The Bulldogs needed all of them and much more as they figured in a back-and-forth affair with 21 lead changes and five deadlocks. “This is the best game they’ve played. Their record doesn’t speak to where they are right now,” Jarin said of their opponents.
UST even had a five-point lead in the third quarter and a three-point lead early in the final frame, but was unable to sustain its momentum the rest of the way.
Reggie Basibas had for himself a breakout game with 23 points, but failed to finish the game after picking up his fifth foul with three minutes left.
For the third time in a row, the Tigers were in a competitive contest which they lost in the decisive period. This, despite off-games from Steve Akomo and Marvin Lee who only had nine points combined.
NU 94 – Gaye 17, Yu 13, Alejandro 12, Mosqueda 11, Bartlett 9, Salem 7, Cauilan 5, Joson 4, Abatayo 4, Aquino 3, Morido 3, Diputado 3, Lastimosa 3, Flores 0, Tibayan 0, Rangel 0
UST 84 – Basibas 23, Sta. Ana 14, Faundo 9, Arana 8, Escalambre 8, Akomo 5, Lee 4, Huang 4, Macasaet 4, De Guzman 3, Kwawukumey 2, Caunan 0, Romero 0, Soriano 0, Lorenzana 0
QUARTER SCORES: 25-24, 51-50, 70-73, 94-84
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