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NU keeps playoff hopes alive, sends UE to brink of winless UAAP season

Enzo Joson led NU's assault. UAAP Season 84 Media Team
By Dugout Philippines

PASAY—National University boosted its postseason chances, dealing University of the East its 13th loss, 100-81, in the penultimate day of the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball elimination round, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Bulldogs now improved to 6-7 for fifth. They are in the mix for the last two Final Four tickets with De La Salle University (7-5), Far Eastern University (6-6), and Adamson University (5-7) - all still have games later today.

The Red Warriors looked ready to play spoiler in the first quarter, trailing by just a point at the end, 20-21.

But NU just went off in the second frame, uncorking 31 points while holding UE to just 16 to erect a double-digit cushion at halftime, 52-36.

The Red Warriors tried to mount multiple comebacks in the second half but 14 was the closest they could get as the Bulldogs did a good job preserving their lead.

"Maganda 'yung balik namin coming off four straight losses," said Bulldogs head coach Jeff Napa. "Magandang bwelo 'to heading to the game on Sunday against La Salle."

Enzo Joson led the balanced NU attack with 15 points, while Shaun Ildefonso and Germy Mahinay chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.

10 other Bulldogs scored at least four points in the blowout victory where they shot 40-of-72 from the field, a high 55.6 percent.

Harvey Pagsanjan led five Red Warriors in double figures with 16 points to go with six rebounds and five assists, while Clint Escamis and Leon Lorenzana had 15 and 14 points, respectively.

NU will end the eliminations on Sunday against the Green Archers at 4:30 p.m.

UE, on the other hand, will try to salvage one win when it battles the Soaring Falcons at 10 a.m.

The Scores:

NU 100 - Joson 15, Ildefonso 12, Mahinay 11, Manansala 9, Figueroa 9, Enriquez 8, Malonzo 6, Clemente 6, Flores 5, Torres 5, Galinato 4, Felicilda 4, Yu 4, Tibayan 2, Gaye 0.

UE 81 - Pagsanjan 16, Escamis 15, Lorenzana 14, Cruz 11, N. Paranada 10, K. Paranada 7, Guevarra 3, Sawat 2, Pascual 2, Beltran 1, Antiporda 0, Villanueva 0, Tulabut 0, Abatayo 0.

Quarterscores: 21-20, 52-36, 77-58, 100-81.

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