Bulldogs get back on track, give Maroons more problems

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 08, 2017 01:49 PM
Bulldogs get back on track, give Maroons more problems
BACK TO BARK. J-Jay Alejandro finally had more than enough help to bring back NU into the win column.

National University needs much more than just J-Jay Alejandro to make noise in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Bulldogs got just that on Sunday at the MOA Arena as Matt Salem and Issa Gaye did the heavy lifting for a well-earned 77-70 win against still struggling University of the Philippines.

Offline for the first six games in the tournament, Salem finally went online in this one, scoring 21 points built on five triples to go along with 10 rebounds. “Matt Salem has been struggling all throughout and I told him that for us to really make a good push this season, he needs to overachieve,” a more than satisfied head coach Jamike Jarin said.

Gaye also played big with 13 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and two steal to help ease the burden of team captain Alejandro who was able to focus on other things with a total of 12 markers, seven assists, and six boards.

With the two teams equally hungry for a win, the tally was tied at 70-all inside the last two minutes. “I want to commend the fighting heart of our guys,” Jarin expressed.

Coming off a timeout, Jarin designed a play for Alejandro and the latter was only more than willing to step up anew for a short stab.

After forcing Jarrell Lim to a well-contested jumper, Rev Diputado then found Salem wide open at the wings for a three and a 75-70 NU lead with 45 ticks to go.

Still, State U wasn’t out of it yet until Jordan Bartlett stole the ball from Jerson Prado and then coolly converted a couple of charities.

And so, after three losses in a row, the Bulldogs have barged back into the win column, holding a 3-4 record.

They have joint possession of the fifth spot with their recently conquered foes.

Along with the bounce back win, NU also piled onto the woes of UP which dropped its third game in a row following their biggest win in over a decade.

Paul Desiderio topped the scoring column for them with 15 points.

Having trouble closing out a contest for the second game in a row, however, all the momentum they have gotten from an upset of defending champion De La Salle University has now disappeared.

BOX SCORES

NU 77 - Salem 21, Gaye 13, Alejandro 12, Joson 6, Diputado 5, Tibayan 4, Yu 3, Abatayo 3, Mosqueda 2, Morido 2, Aquino 2, Bartlett 2, Flores 2, Cauilan 0, Lastimosa 0, Rangel 0

UP 70 - Desiderio 15, Dario 11, Gomez de Liano Ja 10, Lim 7, Ouattara 6, Manzo 6, Lao 6, Prado 5, Gomez de Liano Ju 4, Vito 0, Ricafort 0

QUARTER SCORES: 18-21, 33-38, 56-53, 77-70

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