NATIONAL University leaned on Dave Yu to overcome University of the East, 86-69, on Saturday in the opening game of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The fourth-year guard scored 12 points in the third quarter that saw the Bulldogs go on an 11-0 blast to take command.
NU won its first UAAP game under new head coach Jamike Jarin, who took charge of the Bulldogs after leading San Beda to last year's NCAA title.
"We are just very happy that we got the win on opening day, and in two hours, we call ourselves No. 1," said Jarin, referring to being in solo first place up until the end of the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Yu finished the game with 14 points eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals including a 2-of-5 clip from three-point range for the Bulldogs.
"It feels good that we won. But a lot of things to work on this early," said Jarin.
NU took advantage of the foul-plagued Alvin Pasaol, who suffered his fourth personal foul in the third quarter.
That allowed NU to make a big run and turn a three-point edge into a 59-45 advantage, and at one point take a 17-point lead.
Reggie Morido had 12 points, while J-Jay Alejandro had an all-around game of 11 points, five rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
Rookie Issa Gaye had 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for NU.
Pasaol tallied 14 points and three blocks while Mark Maloles added 10 for the Red Warriors.
NU 86 — Yu 14, Morido 12, Alejandro 11, Gaye 11, Aquino 9, R. Diputado 6, Salem 5, Abatayo 5, Bartlett 5, Mosqueda 4, Joson 2, Lastimosa 2, Cauilan 0, Tibayan 0, Flores 0.
UE 69 — Pasaol 14, Maloles 10, Acuno 10, Olayon 6, Derige 5, Armenion 5, Abanto 5, Manalang 4, Varilla 2, Conner 2, Cruz 2, Bartolome 2, Cullar 2, Gagate 0.
Quarterscores: 20-13; 38-30; 66-53; 86-69.