NU Bulldogs boost semifinal hopes, close gap on fourth-running DLSU Green Archers
Jjay Alejandro comes up with 17 points in the fourth to fuel the Bulldogs' fiery finish. Jaime Campos

JJAY Alejandro scored 25 points and fueled National University’s fourth-quarter blast that brought down La Salle, 81-73, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Alejandro had 17 markers in the final period alone, including a run of 14 in a row that enabled the Bulldogs to steal the victory that strengthened their chances at a Final Four berth.

NU improved its win-loss record to 5-7 to close the gap on fourth-place La Salle as the Green Archers dropped to 5-6 with their second consecutive loss.

NU bounced back from a slow start, responding to a 13-0 run by La Salle to begin the third with a 12-0 blast to gain a 44-43 lead.

Alejandro then hit back-to-back triples that put NU ahead, 65-58, at the end of a 14-3 blast.

“I was very proud of the boys, how they responded,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.

“We started really bad in the third but I saw the resiliency of the boys. They were able to regroup and be able to get back the game.”

Paolo Javelona had 14 points for the Bulldogs, who have won two of their last three games.

Jeron Teng had 25 points while Andrei Caracut finished with 18 points for the Green Archers, who continued to struggle as the league goes in the final stretch of the elimination round.

The scores:

NU 81 - Alejandro 25, Javelona 14, Aroga 7, Alolino 7, Javillonar 7, Neypes 7, Salim 6, Abatayo 4, Diputado 2, Morido 2.

DLSU 73 - Teng 25, Caracut 18, Perkins 10, Torres 8, Rivero 5, Torralba 4, Navarro 3, Tratter 0, Langston 0, Muyang 0.

Quarterscores: 14-10; 32-30; 49-53; 81-73.

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