MANILA, Philippines – The NU Bulldogs boosted their Final Four hopes in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament with a convincing 100-81 win over the UE Red Warriors on Thursday, April 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With the win, NU broke its two-way tie with the Adamson Soaring Falcons and grabbed the solo fifth place with a 6-7 slate. The Bulldogs can even move up to the fourth spot at the end of the day if the FEU Tamaraws lose to the undefeated Ateneo Blue Eagles at 4:30 pm.
Enzo Joson led the way for the Bulldogs with a season-high 15 points on an efficient 6-of-8 clip from the field, while Shaun Ildefonso and Germy Mahinay added 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
Similar to their previous outing against the UST Growling Tigers, the Bulldogs started off slow and led the Red Warriors by only a single point, 21-20, at the end of the first quarter.
However, NU’s offense came alive in the second period, thanks to the hot hands of Joson, who drilled back-to-back three-pointers at the end of the quarter to help the Bulldogs extend their advantage to 16 points at halftime, 52-36.
NU continued to flex its dominance over UE early in the third frame and quickly pushed its lead to 21 points, 57-36, which proved too much for the winless Red Warriors to overcome late in the game.
Harvey Pagsanjan paced the Red Warriors anew in the losing effort with 16 points, while Clint Escamis and Leon Lorenzana contributed 15 and 14 points, respectively.
NU shoots for another all-important win to keep its Final Four chances alive when it faces the La Salle Green Archers in the final day of the elimination round on Sunday, May 1, at 4:30 pm.
UE, meanwhile, hopes to end the season on a high note when it takes on Adamson at 10 am.
NU 100 – Joson 15, Ildefonso 12, Mahinay 11, Manansala 9, Figueroa 9, Enriquez 8, Malonzo 6, Clemente 6, Flores 5, Torres 5, Galinato 4, Felicilda 4, Yu 4, Tibayan 2, Gaye 0.
UE 81 – Pagsanjan 16, Escamis 15, Lorenzana 14, Cruz 11, N. Paranada 10, K. Paranada 7, Guevarra 3, Sawat 2, Pascual 2, Beltran 1, Antiporda 0, Villanueva 0, Tulabut 0, Abatayo 0.
Quarters: 21-20, 52-36, 77-58, 100-81.