UE stops skid, overcomes NU to end 1st round campaign
MANILA, Philippines—University of the East got back on the winning track after holding off National University, 78-72, in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Red Warriors snapped their two-game skid and improved to 2-5 for the seventh seed while the Bulldogs remained in eighth with a 1-6 card.
NU put on a valiant effort in the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run to get within one, 69-68, after Migs Oczon’s three-pointer.
UE, though, was quick to counter with two unanswered layups to build a 73-68 buffer.
Issa Gaye then, put NU to within three, 75-72, with 1:22 left but Dave Ildefonso was called for an unsportsmanlike foul with 46.1 seconds to play allowing Nick Abanto to give the Red Warriors a two-possession lead, 76-72.
It was a much-needed win for UE but active consultant Lawrence Chongson hopes his team’s losing record after the first round was still troublesome for them but he added that the first round should serve as a lesson for them
“Of course, for me 2-5 is nightmarish but in life you just have to take every thing with a grain of salt,” said Chongson in Filipino. “This is our destiny, the hand that fate dealt us with, and I think this will give the players motivation not only in basketball but in life.”
Alex Diakhite, who missed a chunk of the first round due to dengue scares, led the Red Warriors with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks while Philip Manalang added 13 points and seven assists.
Rey Suerte filled the stat sheets for UE with 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists while Neil Tolentino had a 12-point outing.
Patrick Yu had 17 points for the Bulldogs while Shaun Ildefonso added 11 points and six boards.