NATIONAL University beat University of Santo Tomas, 75-64, on Wednesday to stay in contention for a twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament.
The Bulldogs improved their mark to 9-4 to tie La Salle in third place ahead of the Bulldogs-Archers showdown on Saturday.
The winner of the NU-La Salle game will take on the loser of Saturday’s Far Eastern University-Ateneo tussle in a playoff for No. 2 spot, a virtual best-of-three series for a finals seat.
NU coach Eric Altamirano wasn’t satisfied with the way his wards played as the Bulldogs trailed by as many as 11 points.
The Bulldogs also led by just a point, 60-59, in the fourth before a 6-0 run was enough to clinch the victory. NU also had more turnovers, 22-11.
“It was a sloppy game for us. But a win is a win. Again, we have to move on and focus on our next game against La Salle on Saturday. It’s a good thing we regrouped. We started slow and lethargic,” said Altamirano.
Gelo Alolino had 14 points while Reden Celda added 13 points for the Bulldogs. Troy Rosario had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds while Alfred Aroga grabbed 10 rebounds.
UST now owns a 5-8 win-loss card but will try to play the spoilers’ role as it faces University of the East on Tuesday. The Red Warriors need a win over the Tigers to force a playoff for No. 4.
NU (75) – Alolino 14, Celda 13, Khobuntin 12, Javelona 11, Rosario 10, Diputado 5, Aroga 4, Betayene 4, Perez 2, Atangan 0, Alejandro 0.
UST (64) – Abdul 15, Daquioag 13, Subido 11, Mariano 9, Vigil 7, Sheriff 4, Lao 3, Pe 2, Lo 0, Faundo 0, Gayosa 0, Basibas 0.