It wasn’t exactly the season that the hosts were looking for as they finished with a 4-10 record but it was at least an encouraging sign moving forward, with most of their players set to return for next season.
But it was Troy Rike, one of the guys who were playing their final games, who played the biggest, delivering a career-best 17 points on top of 13 rebounds.
Rike created most of most his damage in the second quarter, hitting five of his six shots for 10 points in the stretch as they took a 44-32 lead at the half.
The Red Warriors never had a chance to storm back as they were sent to their worst record in a season, finishing with a 1-13 record.
Issa Gaye was a force to be reckoned with defensively as he finished with a total of eight blocks, one short of tying the UAAP record set by Arwind Santos when he was still with the Far Eastern University Tamaraws. The 6-foot-10 reinforcement also added 12 points and six rebounds.
Dave Ildefonso had decent all-around numbers across the board, with nine points, six rebounds and six assists as his brother Shawn finished also added nine points.
In what could be his final game for the Red Warriors, Alvin Pasaol filled the statsheet with 20 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and two assists as Chris Conner added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
NU 79 – Rike 17, Gaye 12, Ildefonso D 9, Ildefonso S 9, Aquino 7, Yu 6, Salim 6, Diputado 5, Galinato 4, Clemente 2, Tibayan 2, Morido 0, Joson 0, Malonzo 0.
UE 71 – Pasaol 20, Conner 19, Acuno 11, Varilla 10, Manalang 7, Bartolome 2, Guion 2, Cullar 0, Maloles 0, Gallardo 0, Strait 0.
Quarterscores: 21-17; 44-32; 58-46; 79-71.