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Alejandro sizzles in fourth as NU downs La Salle to stay in Final Four race

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Just when NU needed a spark with Alfred Aroga and Gelo Alolino having a quiet game on Wednesday night, Jjay Alejandro came to the rescue.

Alejandro played hero for the Bulldogs as they beat the De La Salle Green Archers, 81-73, in their pivotal UAAP game at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The third year guard sizzled for 17 of NU's 32 points in the final frame as the team moved to within a half-game from La Salle for fourth place.

The Bulldogs, however, needed to stave off a late Archers rally to secure their fifth win of the season.

Down by nine with 3:18 left in the game, La Salle went on a 11-4 run to cut the gap to two, 73-75, with 41 seconds remaining.

But Aroga quickly answered with a three-point play to up the lead to five with 39 seconds to go.

Jason Perkins misfired in the next La Salle offensive, but the team stayed in the game as Aroga missed two free throws after a foul.

Perkins, however, missed another jumper, and Pao Javelona scored the game's last three points to seal NU's win.

Alejandro tallied 25 markers overall, while Javelona added 14 in a game where Aroga and Alolino were limited to seven points each.

Jeron Teng also made 25 points for La Salle, which dropped to subpar .500 with three games in its schedule.

Box Scores:

NU 81-Alejandro 25, Javelona 14, Aroga 7, Alolino 7, Javillonar 7, Neypes 7, Salim 6, Abatayo 4, Diputado 2, Morido 2

La Salle 73-Teng 25, Caracut 18, Perkins 10, Torres 8, Rivero 5, Torralba 4, Navarro 3, Tratter 0, Langston 0, Muyang 0

Quarterscores: 14-10, 32-30, 49-53, 81-73

Follow the writer on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno