Aroga takes charge as Bulldogs repulse Warriors
Alfred Aroga towed National Univeristy past pesky University of the East, 72-66, as both teams made their debuts in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Taking matters into his own hands, Aroga left the Red Warriors with no answers as he asserted himself down the stretch to finish with 16 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
“I expected it to become a very, very tough game,. UE is a Final Four team,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano, whose team started last season at 0-2.
Aroga, the 6-foot-7 Cameroonian, unleashed 10 points in the fourth quarter, including a drive that gave the Bulldogs a 69-66 cushion with 1:19 left.
“My role now is to really score,” said Aroga, who is in his final year.
Jay Alejandro added 13 points while Rev Diputado chipped in nine points and nine rebounds for NU.
Bon Batiller paced the Red Warriors, who played catchup majority of the game, with 18 points.
UE kept it close despite shooting 29% from the field.
Both teams had a miserable time at the free throw line with the Bulldogs going 21-of-37 and the Red Warriors missing 15 of their 31 attempts.