Gelo Alolino finds touch as resurgent NU Bulldogs extend UP Maroons' slump
Gelo Alolino went 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in the first half to lead the NU Bulldogs' breakaway against the UP Maroons. Jerome Ascano

GELO Alolino waxed hot in the first half to propel National University to a 68-52 win over University of the Philippines on Saturday in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Alolino finished with 16 points for the Bulldogs after going a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range in the first half to help open a 38-27 advantage and set the tone for the NU romp.

The two teams are now headed in different directions.

While the Bulldogs won their third successive game after a 0-3 (win-loss) start, the Maroons dropped their third game in a row after a 2-0 start.

“We knew it’s going to be a defensive game. I think all throughout the game, we were consistent on our defense. We were able to lock down on their shooters,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.

Although Alolino wound up with a 4-of-8 clip from beyond the arc, Alfred Aroga also picked up the slack as he had a double-double of 12 points and a season-high 22 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who also limited UP to just nine points in the final period.

“We knew that we are not that good defensively but the three-point shots of Gelo really gave us that confidence,” Altamirano added.

NU will have a long break as it won't play again until the end the first round against Far Eastern University on October 7 in a rematch of last year’s finals.

Jett Manuel and Paul Desiderio had 16 and 10 points, respectively, for the Maroons.

The scores:

NU (68) — Alolino 16, Aroga 12, Salim 9, Tansingco 9, Neypes 7, Javelona 6, Diputado 4, Alejandro 2, Celda 2, Abatayo 1, Javillonar 0, Yu 0.

UP (52) — Manuel 16, Desiderio 10, Dario 8, Lim 5, Asilum 4, Gallarza 2, Jaboneta 2, Longa 2, Moralde 2, Amar 1, Harris 0, Juruena 0, Kone 0, Prado 0, Vito 0.

Quarterscores: 19-12; 38-27; 51-43; 68-52.

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