J-JAY Alejandro finished with 19 points to pace National University to a 73-53 victory over Arellano University on Friday, moving the Bulldogs a step closer to the 1st Philippine-Australia Goodwill Basketball Invitational title at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Alfred Aroga had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who forge a three-way tie for first place with the Chiefs and San Sebastian on 3-1 win-loss record.
NU needs a win over Perth on Saturday and an Arellano victory over San Sebastian on Saturday for the Bulldogs to capture the title under to the winner-over-the-other rule.
On the other hand, San Sebastian only needs to win over Arellano to capture the crown due to its one-point victory over NU on opening day.
On the other hand, Arellano will be hoping for a win over San Sebastian and an NU loss to winless Perth to grab the championship.
The team with the best record wins the round-robin tournament.
Jiovanni Jalalon finished with 14 points while Dioncee Holts had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Chiefs, who trailed 38-23 at the half.
The Bulldogs then pulled away behind a 10-0 run for a 59-40 lead midway through the final quarter.
NU (73) — Alejandro 19, Aroga 10, Alolino 9, Diputado 9, Javillonar 7, Isaa 6, Celda 3, Javelona 2, Neypes 2, Rangel 2, Morido 2, Salim 2, Tansingco 0, Abatayo 0, Senining 0, Lastimosa 0.
Arellano (53) — Jalalon 14, Holts 13, Celado 10, Bangga 8, Nichols 4, Zamora 0, Meca 0, Ruiz 0, Ongolo 0, Taywan 0, Suarez 0, Tano 0, Gumaru 0, Cadavis 0, Ortega 0, Packing 0.
Quarterscores: 15-9, 38-23, 49-38, 73-53.