MATT Salem scored a season-high 21 points as National University snapped a three-game skid with a 77-70 win over University of the Philippines on Sunday in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Bulldogs ended their struggles and upped their mark to 3-4, tying the Maroons for fifth place.
The Maroons suffered their third consecutive loss and had to play most of the second half without Jun Manzo, who hurt his right ankle after an awkward fall in the third period.
Salem’s triple capped off a big run by NU to claim a 65-60 lead halfway in the fourth. He hit a corner three with 45 seconds left in the game to bring the Bulldogs' lead to seven points, 75-68.
Salem also had 10 rebounds, while Issa Gaye scored 13 and J-Jay Alejandro added 12 for the Bulldogs.
"UP fought really hard and we were both in a situation that we needed the win. We are just happy that after 40 minutes of basketball, we came out lucky and we got the game," said NU coach Jamike Jarin.
Paul Desiderio had 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks for the Maroons, while Diego Dario had 11 points.
NU 77 - Salem 21, Gaye 13, Alejandro 12, Joson 6, Diputado 5, Tibayan 4, Yu 3, Abatayo 3, Mosqueda 2, Morido 2, Aquino 2, Bartlett 2, Flores 2, Cauilan 0, Lastimosa 0, Rangel 0.
UP 70 - Desiderio 15, Dario 11, Ja. Gomez de Liano 10, Lim 7, Ouattara 6, Manzo 6, Lao 6, Prado 5, Ju. Gomez de Liano 4, Vito 0, Ricafort 0.
Quarterscores: 18-21; 33-38; 56-53; 77-70.