NATIONAL University romped to its third straight victory, downing Jose Rizal University, 71-60, on Saturday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
Down by 14, 46-60, late in the fourth, the Heavy Bombers exploded with a 10-2 run, capped by Gio Lasquety back-to-back baskets, to trim their deficit to six, 56-62.
But the defending champion Bulldogs regained the momentum to extend the lead to eight, 68-60, as Jordan dela Paz missed his two charities as Jayjay Alejandro drained a triple with 11.9 seconds left
to seal the outcome of the game.
"I think JRU played a great defense on us," said NU coach Eric Altamirano. "They are very pesky we could not get a big lead. We had a bad offensive night good thing our defense held up in the fourth quarter."
UAAP back-to-back MVP Bobby Ray Parks finished with 15 points, while former RP Youth standout Troy Rosario added 15 and Alfred Aroga and Alejandro contributed 12 for the Bulldogs.
"A lot of the key players stepped up even the rookies," said Parks of Aroga and Alejandro.
NU is tied with Arellano in Group A with 3-0 win-loss cards.
Paolo Pontejos, a former San Beda Red Lion, made 15 points for JRU, who absorbed their second loss in as many matches.
NU 71: Parks 15, Rosario 15, Aroga 12, Alejandro 12, Villamor 8, Neypes 6, Roño 3, Javelona 0, De Guzman 0, Javillonar 0, Khobuntin 0, Labing-isa 0.
JRU 60: Pontejos 15, Balagtas 9, Dela Paz 8, Lasquety 7, Mabulac 6, Salaveria 4, Sanchez 3, Abanto 0, Porter 0, Medrano 0, Diego 0.
Quarterscores: 15-16; 36-32; 53-44; 71-60.