MANILA, Philippines – The NU Bulldogs breathed new life to their season with an 88-61 rout of the UE Red Warriors in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, October 13.
The Bulldogs (2-5) snapped a 5-game losing streak to finish the first round, leaving the Red Warriors (1-6) all alone at the cellars.
John Lloyd Clemente led the upstart Bulldogs with a career-best 21 points on a 4-of-7 (57%) three-point shooting in just 17 minutes of action off the bench.
“It always feels good when you win. It’s been a long time,” said NU coach Jamike Jarin, noting that he felt “clinically dead” during their skid.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in ICU because of the losses we had. I was clinically dead but because of these young men, there are more reasons to get up and work harder. It’s because of these young men… the coaches and the management around me. That’s why you try to get up from the dead. We’re dead right now, but we’re gonna get up.”
Dave Ildefonso chipped in a balanced effort of 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists for the Bulldogs.
On the other end, Alvin Pasaol led the UE squad as usual with 20 points and 9 rebounds in the sorry loss. Chris Connor chipped in a career-high 15 points on a 6-of-10 (60%) clip from the field.
The Ildefonso brothers shone bright late in the 1st half, with Dave dishing ahead for a Shaun bucket to give the Bulldogs a 22-point lead, 50-28.
From there, the red-hot Bulldogs’ lead only grew bigger, reaching as high as 31 points, 85-54, off a hard drive by John Galinato at the 4:08 mark.
NU 88 – Clemente 21, Ildefonso D 14, Gaye 12, Ildefonso S 12, Rike 6, Yu 4, Galinato 4, Diputado 4, Joson 2, Sinclair 2, Morido 2, Aquino 2, Salim 2, Tibyan 1, Malonzo 0, Gallego 0.
UE 61 – Pasaol 20, Conner 15, Manalang 10, Maloles 5, Acuno 4, Varilla 3, Bartolome 2, Beltran 2, Cullar 0, Strait 0, Sobrevega 0, Lacap 0, Gallardo 0, Guion 0.
Quarters: 23-19, 56-35, 76-49, 88-61.