Posted Aug 14th 2014
Bulldogs send Eagles crashing
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jul 26th 2014
No 4-0 start.
That National University (NU) made sure on Saturday as the Bulldogs denied Ateneo de Manila University a fourth straight victory to grab a share of second place in the 77th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Loading their hoses with a more deliberate and defense-oriented game, the Bulldogs doused Ateneo’s’ vaunted firepower while outsteadying them from the stripe towards the end to hack out a 64-60 win as NU tied erstwhile league-leading Eagles at 3-1.
Versatile big man Troy Rosario again showed the way for the Bulldogs, chalking up a team-high 16 points on top of eight rebounds and two assists but it was NU’s bench that made the difference, especially in grounding Ateneo from the backcourt.
“I’m very proud of the boys, especially our bench. Nag-step up sila (Jess) Diputado, (Paolo) Javelona, at (Raph) Atangan,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said. “We made sure we stop Keifer (Ravena) and put pressure on their guards.”
“We committed to play defense against Ateneo. We just relied on sheer defense.”
Jess Diputado backstopped Rosario with 10 points while defending Ateneo spitfire Keifer Ravena, who tallied only 13 markers from an uncharacteristic 3-of-20 shooting from the field.
With the Eagles frantically hovering on the comeback trail, NU used the penalty trap to bait Ateneo’s defenders and score nine crucial freethrows in the last 1:24 of the game for the final count.
Ravena, who scored 11 in the first half, muffed all his seven attempts from three-point range despite going 7-of-10 from the line and issuing six assists.
Freshman Arvin Tolentino paced the Eagles with 17, including three triples, and nine rebounds.
NU 64 – Rosario 16, Deputado 10, Aroga 9, Khobuntin 8, Alolino 6, Javelona 6, Beteyene 4, Atangan 2, Celda 2, Alejandro 1, Neypes 0.
ADMU 60 – Tolentino 17, Ravena 13, Gotladera 7, Pessumal 7, Newsome 6, Elorde 6, Porter 2, Lim 2, Capacio 0, Babilonia 0.
Quarter scores: 15-15, 33-31, 49-43, 64-60.