Posted Aug 16th 2014
Bulldogs bite Maroons for second win
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 19th 2014
National University (NU) dismantled the Statue in the Basement with little trouble on Saturday to grab its second straight win in the 77th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Veteran guard Gelo Alolino and big man Troy Rosario remained in the zone as the Bulldogs ripped the hapless University of the Philippines (UP), 70-59, to stay unbeaten with a league-leading 2-0 card.
Alolino netted 20 points, including four three-pointers, while Rosario muscled his way inside with 17 and nine rebounds to lead NU, which led by as much as 19 late in the fourth quarter.
Rookie import Alfred Aroga also made his presence felt, posting a double-double of 16 markers and 11 boards on top of three blocks to underscore NU’s defensive dominance underneath.
Overall, NU beat the relatively smaller Maroons in the paint, hauling down 51 rebounds to just 27 for UP which chalked up 18 inside points against the Bulldogs’ 44. NU also out-assisted UP, 17-9.
“UP started really strong. They were very aggressive on the offensive end. I just reminded the boys to focus on our defense and things will go our way,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said.
The Bulldogs did with plenty to spare.
From a 23-all deadlock, the Bulldogs kept the Maroons scoreless in the first three minutes of the second period before unloading a 12-4 assault behind Alolino, Rosario, and Aroga to up, 35-27.
UP newcomer Dave Moralde cushioned the impact of that attack with back-to-back triples to push the Maroons within two at the break.
But the Bulldogs kept biting ahead as Rosario scored five in a 7-0 blitz to stretch NU’s lead, 44-33, with six minutes remaining in the third.
With UP napping on defense, Rosario, Alolino and Aroga broke loose anew, conspiring in a blistering 13-7 run to give NU a sizeable 57-44 advantage heading into the payoff period.
“It has to be a collective effort. The important thing for us is to let everyone play their role, especially the big men on the defensive end,” Altamirano said.
Glenn Khobuntin, NU’s other reliable frontliner, wound up with just six points but helped control the inside for the Bulldogs while issuing five assists. His bucket to open the fourth sparked an 11-7 exchange, propelling NU to its biggest lead, 68-49, for good.
UP belatedly responded with a nondescript 10-2 attack to make the outcome a more respectable. The loss stretched the Maroons’ losing skein to 22 games since 2012.
Despite the lopsided affair, Altamirano cautioned his wards for their erratic play in the first half.
“We’re happy for the win although I’m not really happy with how we played. We were very erratic. We were not disciplined. We committed a lot of turnovers. When we got the lead somehow we relaxed. We tried to force things.”
Moralde, who scored 13 in the first half, led UP with 15 points while JR Gallarza added 10.
NU 70 –Alolino 20, Rosario 17, Aroga 16, Khobuntin 6, Perez 3, Alejandro 2, Neypes 2, Atangan 2, Diputado 2, Javelona 0, Celda 0.
UP 59 – Moralde 15, Gallarza 10, Reyes 8, Lao 8, Dario 6, Gingerich 5, Vito 4, Juruena 2, Asilum 1, Harris 0.
Quarter scores: 18-19, 37-33, 57-44, 70-59.