REGGIE Morido and Matt Salem gave the shorthanded National University a boost in beating College of Saint Benilde, 59-54, on Wednesday in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Morido had a team-high 11 points and Salem added 10 markers along with seven rebounds for the Bulldogs, who played without their foreign players Alfred Aroga and Issa Gaye but still came out victorious in their preseason opener.
NU coach Eric Altamirano noted his team’s defense as key for their win, despite having playing undermanned and dealing with some rust after a long break.
“This is our first official preseason game since we started last March. This is a young team kaya may mga first game jitters. But we held our opponent to less than 60 points. That was our target,” Altamirano said.
Matthew Aquino anchored NU's defense, grabbing seven boards and blocking four shots.
Clement Leutcheu had 13 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks, while Christian Fajarito added 12 points for the Blazers in a losing effort.
NU (59)—Morido 11, Salem 10, Labing-isa 6, Diputado 6, Go 5, Alejandro 5, Aquino 3, Yu 3, Cauilan 3, Abatayo 3, Salim 2, Gallego 1, Mosqueda 1, Rangel 0.
CSB (54)—Leutcheu 13, Fajarito 12, Sta. Maria 9, Young 5, Hurana 4, J.J. Domingo 3, J.S. Domingo 3, Dixon 2, Belgica 2, Pajarillaga 1, Castor 0, Pasamante 0, Pili 0, San Juan 0.
Quarters: 14-12, 32-25, 48-42, 59-54.