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BDO-NU pushes Wang's to brink of elimination with crucial win

PBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--With their PBA D-League Aspirants Cup playoff hopes on the line, BDO-NU and Wang's battled to a tough fight on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Bulldogs waxed hot in the dying moments.

BDO-NU got a timely boost in the final few minutes to take a 106-97 victory over Wang's.

The Bulldogs actually started hot, opening a 19-10 lead in the first quarter.

But the Couriers slowly crawled back and even took the lead at some points of what would be a close match for most of the remainder of the game, the last at 93-92 with 4:19 left in the fourth quarter.

Back-to-back triples from BDO-NU sparked the game-deciding 14-4 run in the final 3:26 that earned the team its second win of the tournament.

Jjay Alejandro fired 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting with one rebound, four assists, and two steals, while Alfred Aroga collected 19 points on a 7-of-10 field goal clip, 12 rebounds, five assists, and one block for the Bulldogs, whose win was enough for them to barge to the quarterfinals despite losing three straight games prior to it.

James Mangahas' 22-point outburst behind four triples was put to waste as the Couriers found themselves on the verge of being the lone team that will not make the playoffs.

Wang's must now hope that Mindanao, whose own playoff bid got a crucial derailing after falling to Caida earlier Tuesday, loses to Phoenix-FEU on Monday to get the last quarterfinal seat.

Box Scores:

BDO-NU 106-Alejandro 23, Aroga 19, Javelona 15, Salim 14, Diputado 9, Salem 9, Labing-isa 6, Perez 4, Yu 4, Rono 3, Tansingco 0

Wang's 97-Mangahas 22, Acosta 16, Bautista 14, Romero 12, Ilad 11, Capacio 8, Jo. Montemayor 6, Tayongtong 5, Munsayac 3, Cabahug 0, Ragasa 0, Tumalip 0

Quarterscores: 28-23, 44-43, 75-75, 106-97

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno