NATIONAL University scored the game’s first 13 points, but still needed baskets in the clutch to turn back College of Saint Benilde, 66-62, on Wednesday, and claim its second win in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
Gelo Alolino scored 19 points, while J-Jay Alejandro finished with 12 points for the Bulldogs, who stayed unbeaten early in the preseason tournament.
The reigning UAAP champions, however, had to lean on conversions by Alolino and Alejandro late in the game to clinch the win after failing to protect its big lead earlier.
The tense situation even led to NU coach Eric Altamirano uncharacteristically losing his cool by complaining to the referees following one non-call situation late in the match.
“I lost my cool but I apologized to the team. Sabi ko nga, it’s also a blessing because it gave us an opportunity to be able to test how we can execute during the crucial part of the game. It was a good test for us,” said Altamirano.
Seny Gaye had a team-high 13 rebounds and four blocks for the Bulldogs, who also got eight boards from Meds Salim.
Jonathan Grey scored 21 points for CSB, which slipped to a 1-3 record.
NU (66) -- Alolino 19, Alejandro 12, Javelona 9, Gaye 7, Salim 5, Neypes 4, Diputado 4, Abatayo 2, Celda 2, Tansingco 2, Morido 0, Rangel 0.
CSB (62) -- Grey 21, Nayve 14, Ongtengco 7, Sta. Maria 6, Saavedra 4, Jonson 3, Flores 3, Deles 2, De Sequerra 2, Castor 0, San Juan 0, Young 0, JJ Domingo 0.
Quarterscores: 20-13; 32-23; 47-49; 66-62.