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Alolino sizzles as NU ousts UP

(file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Gelo Alolino scorched for a career-high 26 points including ten in the final 2:20 as NU eliminated UP from the UAAP Final Four race through a 75-69 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

Alolino helped lead a third quarter Bulldogs charge and took over when the Fighting Maroons mounted a comeback.

NU trailed, 28-31, at the half but outscored UP, 24-11, in the third period to open a 52-42 cushion. Alolino, Reden Celda, and Med Salim combined for 19 of the 24 points.

But UP opened the fourth quarter with five straight points to cut the lead to half, 52-47.

The Bulldogs appeared to have restored control when they rebuilt the ten-point edge, 63-53, with 4:20 remaining.

But the Maroons answered with a 7-0 blast to trim the gap to just three, 63-60, with 2:38 to go.

An Alolino triple ignited the game-turning 10-2 run all by himself that sealed his team's win.

Alolino actually tallied a double-double as he grabbed ten rebounds along with three assists for NU, which forced a virtual tie with La Salle for fourth place ahead of the latter's match against Ateneo later Sunday. La Salle keeps the wildcard lead due to a better winning rate.

Jett Manuel and Diego Dario each scored 13 markers for UP, which despite of having only six turnovers struggled from the field.

Box Scores:

NU 75-Alolino 26, Aroga 15, Neypes 7, Celda 7, Salim 6, Alejandro 4, Javillonar 3, Yu 3, Javelona 2, Morido 2, Diputado 0, Abatayo 0

UP 69-Manuel 13, Dario 13, Desiderio 10, Amar 9, Kone 6, Moralde 4, Asilum 4, Gallarza 4, Harris 2, Lim 2, Longa 2, Jaboneta 0, Juruena 0, Webb 0

Quarterscores: 13-18, 28-31, 52-42, 75-69