ALFRED Aroga and Joshua Alolino led from the front in a late National University run against University of the East, 57-55, on Sunday in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Aroga and Alolino scored the final five points of the game when the Bulldogs put the finishing touches to the come-from-behind victory, their fifth in six outings that solidified their hold of the top spot.
Aroga finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead the way for NU while Alolino had all of his six points on three-pointers, the last one giving NU the lead for good at 55-54.
Aroga then hit a short stab for a three-point UE lead with 2:18 left in the game that proved good enough as UE couldn't find an answer in the endgame.
Roi Sumang split his two free throws with 1:06 left in the fourth but missed a driving lay-up at the buzzer in another disappointing end for the Red Warriors (2-3), who lost their third successive game.
“It was a tightly-contested game. It could have gone either way. But I just want to commend the resilience of the boys in the end. They refused to lose,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
Sumang had 16 points for the Red Warriors but was left in tears after missing another crucial shot with the game on the line.
NU (57) – Aroga 18, Khobuntin 14, Rosario 11, Alolino 6, Perez 4, Javelona 2, Diputado 2, Neypes 0, Alejandro 0, Atangan 0, Betayene 0, Celda 0.
UE (55) – Galanza 16, Sumang 16, Javier 9, Alberto 8, Palma 4, Guiang 2, Varilla 0, Arafat 0, Mammie 0, De Leon 0, Jumao-as 0.
Quarterscores: 12-20; 23-28; 42-36; 57-55.