Bulldogs check skid, shackle scrappy Tigers

JJ Alejandro might have been slipped on this photo, but the king  Bulldog rescued NU after nearly blowing a 20-point lead.

By Ricky Manliguis

QUEZON CITY—National University nearly blew a 25-point lead in the final quarter, but hanged tough to beat University of Santo Tomas,75-68 ,in the second game of Sunday action in the UAAP Season LXXIX men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulldogs thus snapped its two-game losing streak to improve to a 3-2 win-loss card and in a three-way tie for second place alongside Ateneo and Adamson.

But it had to survive a horrendous fourth quarter where it scored just six points, compared to UST’s 19 fourth-quarter points.

In total control of the first three quarters, the Sampaloc-based ballclub ballooned the lead to 62-44, with three minutes left in the third canto, only for the Tigers to answer back to cut the lead to 66-73.

JJ Alejandro bounced back from a scoreless game last Wednesday, coming out with 16 points, including the insurance free throws for the finishing touches. The senior guard also hauled down six rebounds.  

Matt Salem had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Mohammad Salim and Alfred Aroga chipped in 11 and 10, respectively.

Birthday boy UST captain Louie Vigil fired 17 points for the EspaƱa-based dribblers, which fell to its third loss in five outings.

The Tigers also made a UAAP first by failing to convert a three-point attempt the entire ballgame, missing all of its 14 tries from rainbow country.

Senior guard Jon Sheriff added 16 markers, seven boards, and three steals.
The scores:
NU 75 — Alejandro 16, Salem 14, Salim 11, Aroga 10, R. Diputado 8, Aquino 5, Mosqueda 5, Gallego 2, C. Diputado 2, Abatayo 2, Morido 0, Sinclair 0, Pate 0, Yu 0, Rangel 0.
UST 68 — Vigil 17, Sheriff 16, Lee 8, Afoakwah 7, Subido 6, Lao 5, Basibas 4, Macasaet 2, Caunan 2, Huang 1, Faundo 0, De Guzman 0, Arana 0.
Quarterscores: 27-15; 46-29; 69-49; 75-68.  
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