NU back on track, dumps winless UST
National University steadied its ship and dumped University of Santo Tomas, 91-83, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Bulldogs, who came into the game having lost five of their last six games, improved to 4-6 to bolster their bid for a Final Four spot.
The Growling Tigers, meanwhile, dropped to 0-10.
The Bulldogs slowly built their momentum from the second quarter until midway through the third quarter, going on a 24-6 run bridging the two periods to take a 69-58 lead.
Matt Salem then converted on an and-one play that capped off NU’s 11-2 run at the start of the fourth that put the Bulldogs up 80-65 at the 7:29 mark of the fourth.
“We really needed to win today because we wanted to have a better chance to get to the Final Four,” said NU assistant coach Danny Ildefonso, who temporarily spearheaded the team in place of the suspended Jamike Jarin, in Fiipino.
“I and the other assistants talked at the end of the first half and every one of us gave their insight on how we should adjust in the second half. And after that huddle, the second half became easier for us.”
Matt Salem had a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead the Bulldogs while Issa Gaye put up 22 points, six rebounds, and six blocks.
J-Jay Alejandro narrowly missed out on a triple-double for NU with 10 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Steve Akomo led the Growling Tigers with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Marvin Lee had 15 points and four assists.
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