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NU finally breaks UE hex to win their season opener

Alfred Aroga registered a double-double as NU ends their four-game losing streak to UE earlier this afternoon.
By Kevin Estrada

PASAY CITY-- National University were made to work by a pesky UE side in the entire game to come up with a win to open their UAAP season here at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday afternoon.

The Bulldogs and the Red Warriors engaged in a close encounter before the Sampaloc side emerging 72-66 winners to break their four-game losing run against their victims dating back last season.

After being scoreless in the first quarter, graduating center Alfred Aroga had a double-double of 16 markers and 13 boards for Coach Eric Altamirano, and was duly backed-up by JJ Alejandro's 13 and Jess Diputado who had 9 points.

Edson Batiller had 18 for Coach Derrick Pumaren's Red Warriors and Alvin Pasaol chippd in for 10 as they gave NU a run of their money before losing steam in the final 3 minutes of the game.

The Bulldogs came out firing in the first canto with 12-2 run in the first 1:56 of the match before UE came up with a 13-2 run of their own to gain the upperhand before Alejandro slices thru the Red Warriors defense to post a 16-15 lead at the end of the quarter.

NU continued their dominance in the second period, as they extended their lead to seven before settling for a 38-33 advantage heading into a break.

UE came back to life by winning the low scoring third quater battle, as they reduced NU to just nine points and in the process, their lead to a single point, 47-46 heading into the pay-off period.

The tight nature of the game became evident in the fourth with the lead had been changed thirteen sides and were tied for further three more. But the Cameroonian bucked a bad ankle to score 10 in that period as NU broke the 65-all deadlock with a finishing 7-1 run to post their fourth opening day win in five years.

The Scores
NU (72) - Aroga 16, Alejandro 13, J. Diputado 9, Salem 7, Morido 7, Rangel 7, Abatayo 5, M. Diputado 3, Gallego 2, Pate 1

UE (66) - Batiller 18, Pasaol 10, De Leon 8, Penuela 7, Olayon 7, Varilla 5, Charcos 4, Abanto 2, Palma 2, Acuno 2, Gagate 1

Quarter Scores: 16-15, 38-33, 47-46, 72-66

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada