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Another third quarter dooms National U as UE sweeps series



In their last assignment, the National University Bulldogs scored just six points in the third quarter in their loss against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.

In their game early Saturday evening against the University of the East Red Warriors, the Bulldogs scored just eight points in the third canto en route to a 52-47 loss against UE at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The the early-goings of the game, the defending champions were able to impose their defense on the Warriors for an early 8-4 lead. However, foreign student-athlete Alfred Aroga was accidentally elbowed that resulted to a gash on his left eyebrow. After baskets by Varilla that cut the lead to just a solitary points. A free throw by Aroga and a jumper by Kyle Neypes gave NU a 12-8 lead to end the first quarter.

Aroga continued to make his presence felt in the game in the second quarter on both ends on the court. The Bulldogs pounded the paint with Aroga scoring four points while on defense, the Cameroonian anchored the defense in limiting the Red Warriors to jumpshots and forcing turnovers. The Bulldogs were able to gain the biggest lead of the game 24-14 with 4:19 left in the quarter. However, with NU breaking the game wide open, last season’s Finals MVP was called for his third foul with 2:29 remaining. With Aroga sitting on the bench, the troika of Javier, Bonbon Batiller, and Nick Abanto were free to drive into the lanes that cut the lead to seven, 28-21, to enter the second half.

In the third canto, the Bulldogs, just like in their last game, struggled to find their offense. Even shots from point blank range from Neypes and layups by Pao Javellona and Gelo Alolino could not convert for the Bulldogs. To compound the problem for National U, Aroga was penalized for his fourth foul with 8:09 remaining. With Aroga on the bench anew, Javier freely scored inside while a Varilla jumper tied the game at 34-all. An and-one conversion by Javier coming from a Varilla miss gave UE the lead to enter the final frame, 37-36.

Kyle Neypes tried to be the primary offensive option to start the fourth to keep pace with the surging Warriors. Javier though had the hot hand in scoring seven points in the final quarter including a hook shot over Aroga with 1:35 remaining that gave UE a 49-43 lead. Misses by Alolino and Aroga in the last few seconds while free throws by Javier and Charcos sealed the win for the Red Warriors, 52-47.

“We just stuck with the gameplan which was defense,” UE head coach Derrick Pumaren said after the game. “Actually we were not playing well but out defense was the key.” Furthermore, he admitted that it was an awful game for both squads.

Fortunately for UE, even in shooting just 31% from the field, Chris Javier saved the day for them as he took over the UE offense with 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting while also grabbing 9 boards. “Wala ng bukas para sa amin,” he admitted. “Laki pa ng hahabulin namin.”

For Pumaren though, he is still not pleased with the performance of his team. “We are not happy as a team. We have not taken advantage of our opponents mistakes. It’s still a negative.”

Besides Javier, Varilla was able to score 10 points and grab nine boards as well.

For the Bulldogs, Alfred Aroga was the only one to score in double-digits with 11 points on just 21 minutes of play. He was hampered by foul trouble all throughout but was able to grab nine boards nonetheless. Smart Elite ambassador Gelo Alolino continued to struggle in scoring just six points on a horrendous 3/12 shooting. Even in dishing out three assists, he committed five turnovers in the loss.

As a team, both teams shot horribly with the victors shooting 31.94% while the Bulldogs shot just 28% from the field. The Warriors were able to outrebound the Bulldogs 54-43 that proved to be the difference in this game.

The UE Red Warriors (3-5) will next face the DLSU Green Archers on Wednesday, October 14 at 2:00pm while the NU Bulldogs look to break their two-game funk against the UST Growling Tigers on Saturday, October 17 at 4:00pm

The Scores:
UE (52) – Javier 16, Varilla 10, Abanto 7, Charcos 4, De Leon 4, Palma 4, Batiller 3, Gagate 2, Varilla 2, Derige 0, Manalang 0, Penuela 0, Sta Ana 0, Yu 0.
NU (47) – Aroga 11, Neypes 9, Diputado 8, Alolino 6, Celda 4, Sali4, Alejandro 3, Tansingco 2, Abatayo 0, Javelona 0, Javillonar 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 8-12, 21-28, 37-36, 52-47.

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