JJAY Alejandro spearheaded National University’s 87-84 comeback win over Far Eastern University on Wednesday that kept the Bulldogs in the hunt for a Final Four berth.
The Bulldogs survived the hot-shooting Tamaraws to snap a two-game skid in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
NU improved to 5-8 (win-loss) and remained in contention for a semifinal berth after FEU slipped to 6-7 heading to the final weekend of the elimination round.
The Bulldogs overcame the Tamaraws' 18 triples in the first half, storming back from a 15-point deficit to steal the victory.
“This is the dream. This is what I was expecting from our players, ’yung maturity,” said NU coach Jamike Jarin.
Alejandro finished with 17 points, six rebounds and nine assists for the Bulldogs, who closed the game with a 23-5 run to steal the win.
NU finally took the lead, 82-81, on a triple by Alejandro with 4:52 left, and the Bulldogs held on.
Issa Gaye had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Enzo Joson had 13 points including a crucial steal that led to a free throw that gave his team the three-point lead.
Arvin Tolentino had 21 points but missed a 3-point attempt in FEU’s final possession.
Ron Dennison also had 21 but fouled out midway through the fourth.
NU 87 – Gaye 24, Alejandro 17, Joson 13, Mosqueda 8, Tibayan 7, Abatayo 6, Aquino 5, Diputado 4, Yu 2, Cauilan 1, Bartlett 0, Morido 0, Salem 0, Rangel 0, Lastimosa 0.
FEU 84 – Tolentino 21, Dennison 21, Comboy 16, Cani 14, Inigo 3, Tuffin 3, Ebona 2, Escoto 2, Orizu 2, Parker 0, Trinidad 0.
Quarterscores: 19-27; 39-47; 64-72; 87-84.