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Batisla-ong, UST fend off late NU fightback to keep postseason hopes alive

by Kevin Estrada

QUEZON CITY-- UST's flickering Final Four hopes were kept alive by Ronald Batisla-ong's brace as they bulldozed the already eliminated NU Bulldogs, 2-1, in the second match of today's UAAP Men's Football tournament early in the evening at the Moro Lorenzo field.

The senior centre-back struck early in both halves for coach Marjo Allado to push themselves within a point of La Salle in the league table to put their season back on track, ending their four-match winless run with their first three points in the second round that keep themselves alive of a shot to return to the final four with just two matches remaining into the schedule.

Nico Macapal scored a consolation deep into stoppage time for his sixth goal of the season, but it was not enough for the Bulldogs to find the equalizer to put a dent into UST's postseason chances, as they were already eliminated earlier by Ateneo who beat rivals La Salle in the first match.

Batisla-ong struck first for the Espana booters, as his header in the 16th minute shoved UST ahead.

Then he doubled the advantage ten minutes into the restart, latching on a feed by Christian Valderama and shot past custodian Chris Perocho inside the box.

However, the senior left-back for the Sampaloc booters put the match into its exciting conclusion with his solo run from the left wing and pulled a goal back for the Bulldogs in the third minute of added time, striking inside the box past Zaldy Abraham. 

But it was a case of too little, too late, as NU slumped to their fifth loss of the season, as they are stuck at sixth at the table with sixteen points.

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