DEFENDING champion National U has pumped life to its semifinal hopes, with veteran playmaker Gelo Alolino leading the way.
With NU still struggling and lowly UP coming up with a tough challenge, Alolino came through with his finest offensive performance this in Season 78.
Alolino sizzled with a career-best 26 points, 12 coming in the final period, on top of 10 rebounds and three assists, enabling the Bulldogs to hold off the Fighting Maroons 75-69 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
NU improved its win-loss record to 6-7 for fourth spot as La Salle suffered its third straight setback, a 62-73 decision against Ateneo, for a to a 5-7 mark in fifth place.
“There was no special game plan, we just executed our defense well. Our defense turned out to be our offense as well,” said Alolino.
“We made stops and we made easy baskets on transition. Credit to my teammates for finding me, when I’m open," he added.
“Everybody wanted to win the game and that’s everybody’s mindset. Coach Eric (Altamirano) gave me the responsibility, that’s why I need to deliver,” added Alolino. “If there are players who can score, they also have a chance to deliver.”
Alolino was chosen Accel Quantum/3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week by scribes covering the league, getting picked over Adamson’s Cameroonian import Papi Sarr of Adamson University, Clark Derige of University of the East, Karim Abdul of University of Santo Tomas, Adrian Wong and Von Pessumal of Ateneo.