MANILA, Philippines — Pre-season king National University added University of the Philippines to its list of victims in an unprecedented 19-game win streak dating back to last year.
The Bulldogs crushed the Maroons, 71-52, on Friday and stayed unbeaten in this year’s installment of the pre-season cup, 8-0, dating back to when they bagged the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup title in 2012 with 11 wins.
But head coach Eric Altamirano insisted that NU still has a long list of points to improve on to translate this pre-season domination to a deep run in the UAAP.
“We’re not thinking about that. We’re just finding ways to get better and improve our team,” said Altamirano, whose squad flies to Australia next week.
And, true enough, the rebounding department is still a concern as the Maroons, who were behind big all game, even outrebounded the Bulldog, 52-42.
NU, though, had little problem on the offensive end with three Bulldogs chipping in double-digit outputs. Ray Parks had 15, Alfred Aroga 14 and Jeoff Javillonar with 12.
The Bulldogs jumped the gun early, building a 34-16 lead at halftime and a 20-point gap entering the payoff period.
But late in the fourth quarter, UP had a run which brought the lead down to 52-62, as its big men worked their way inside the paint.
Raul Soyud finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Maroons. Joseph Marata added 12.
A 9-0 run by NU in the final two minutes ended any hopes for a miraculous comeback for UP, as it reeled to its fifth straight loss.