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Rosario leads Bulldogs to force Game 3 against Tamaraws - UAAP Season 76

Rosario leads Bulldogs to force Game 3 against Tamaraws

By Josiah Albelda Posted Oct 8th 2014

Troy Rosario rose to the occasion as he powered the NU Bulldogs to a Game 2 win over the FEU Tamaraws.

What Troy Rosario started, Gelo Alolino finished for National University.

The Bulldogs saw their championship hopes get a boost of life after holding Far Eastern University to an atrocious shooting night and running away with a 62-47 win in Game 2 of the 77th UAAP men's basketball finals Wednesday before a record crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rosario sparkled in a 16-3 run to open the game for NU before Alolino slammed the door on the Tamaraws in the last two minutes as the Bulldogs limited their foes to their worst offensive performance of the tournament forced a winner-take-all Game 3.

The decider is scheduled next Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

"We felt that we did not do a good job defensively in the last game," said coach Eric Altamirano. "We focused on going back to our fundamentals, going back to our discipline in our defense."

The return to their strength worked wonders for the Sampaloc five, who held FEU to 2/15 shooting in the first 10 minutes, to set the tone for the rest of the battle.

After losing their first three games to the Tamaraws this season, NU finally solved the Morayta squad's puzzle in front of 24, 896 people -- the biggest basketball crowd ever at the Big Dome.

"Ang difference lang, we played good defense tonight instead of the other games, when we allowed them to score in the 70s," Altamirano added. "It's important that we minimize our turnovers. That caused FEU to score a lot in transition. We were very particular about that."

The Bulldogs committed just 13 turnovers and gored FEU in the paint (28-14) and on the boards (58-39), as Rosario and Alfred Aroga teamed up to haul down 27 rebounds -- 14 of them on the offensive end.

Rosario scored 15 points in the first two quarters while Alolino -- who struggled with 0/7 shooting in the opening half -- exploded in the final quarter, scoring 10 of his 12 points, including back-to-back triples that sealed the deal for the Tamaraws.

After a Mike Tolomia basket drew FEU to within 50-44, Alolino drained a triple off a Rosario pass with 1:56 remaining to push the lead to nine.

Finding himself open anew, Alolino dropped another bomb to make it 56-44 with just 1:21 left on the clock.

"I thought our guards handled the pressure well," Altamirano added. "We kept our poise. The guys stayed under control."

Bouncing back from a sordid second-half performance in Game 1, Rosario led all scorers with 19 points and 14 rebounds while Khobuntin extended his collegiate career after contributing 17 points.

Mac Belo and Tolomia tried to will the Tamaraws back in the game with a combined 32 points, but the rest of FEU could only combine for 15 points.

The scores:

NU (62) -- Rosario 19, Khobuntin 17, Alolino 12, Aroga 7, Diputado 2, Alejandro 2, Neypes 2, Javelona 1, Betayene 0, Perez 0

FEU (47) -- Belo 17, Tolomia 15, Inigo 7, Pogoy 4, Jose 2, Cruz 2, Hargrove 0, Dennison 0, Tamsi 0, Escoto 0, Denila 0, Lee Yu 0, Ugsang 0, David 0

Quarters: 18-6, 26-18, 43-30, 62-47