FEU blitzed NU early and never looked back as the Tamaraws held-off a comeback-hungry Bulldogs squad, 71-62 at the MoA Arena.
FEU held a basketball clinic on both ends of the floor during the second quarter and nursed a hefty 20-point lead heading into the half. NU would unleash a last ditch attempt late in the fourth quarter to snatch the lead, but FEU’s veteran poise and smart descisions on offense was enough to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
The Tamaraws held the Bulldogs to just six points in the second period and countered with a 22-point outburst in the same period. FEU scrambled on defense; limiting NU to contested perimeter shots for most of the quarter. At one point, NU went scoreless in the period for six minutes as the Tams trampled them with a 15-0 run. NU’s Alfred Aroga stopped the bleeding for the Bulldogs at the 0:30 mark of the period to keep the Bulldogs at pace, 22-42, before the half.
The Bulldogs nipped at FEU’s lead and brought it down to 42-55 before the final period. A Gelo Alolino corner 3 sparked a 14-0 run for the Bulldogs which positioned them within four points of the Tamaraws midway through the quarter. Both teams would continue to trade jabs until FEU’s veteran moxie activated late in the quarter; converting baskets and free throws while shutting the door on NU for good.
With Mark Belo and Mike Tolomia both having salty outings for the Tamaraws, sharpshooters, Atchi Inigo and Carl Cruz filled the gaps for their team on offense; drilling all eight of their team’s attempts from beyond the arc. Inigo finished with 14 markers while Cruz led all scorers with 16.
NU’s usually overwhelming frontline of Throy Rosario and Alfred Aroga, managed only a combined 10 points on 5 for 22 shooting but both were able to pull down 20 rebounds combined. Gelo Alolino led all Bulldogs in scoring with 13 points on six for 16 shooting.