The National University-Banco de Oro Bulldogs finally break in to the win column in a 93-87 win over the still winless AMA Online Education Titans Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
National University transferee Matt Salem led the way for the Bulldogs with 16 points on 6/13 shooting with seven rebounds and two triples while JJay Alejandro and Alfred Aroga punched in 14 points each that paved the way for their first win in the 2016 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup tournament.
“Kumpleto kami ngayon that’s one. And we’re getting used to the D-League type of play,” BDO head coach Eric Altamirano said about the win. “Mga bata namin kasi karamihan mga bago so iba yung style of play na they’re used to.”
Filipino-American Rashawn McCarthy was the high point man for the Titans in this close encounter with 21 points, 16 coming in the second half, while grabbing ten boards as well. However, his backcourt mate Jerramy King struggled in the game, shooting just 3/14 from the field for nine points, while Julian Sargent was hampered due to foul trouble.
With the Bulldogs only up by a solitary point entering the final frame, Alfred Aroga and Raph Tansingco pounded their way on the inside to help give their team an 81-77 lead with 5:34 left in the game. Misses from the charity stripe by Jammer Jamito and questionable shot selections by RR De Leon and a cold King did not help either.
Incoming NU senior JJay Alejandro closed the game in scoring five points, majority on the break, in a 10-5 run to close out the game. In addition, with 28.3 seconds left and down by just five, the Titans failed to foul that wasted 17 seconds on the clock that closed out their fate.
Aroga notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards after missing BDO’s game against Cafe France. “He’s okay na. He’s getting into shape again and starting to play better pero malayo pa kami,” Altamirano said about his foreign student-athlete.
Even in being outrebounded 47-43, the Bulldogs shot better from the field compared to AMA, 47% compared to 41%. Moreover, the Blue-and-Gold were sharp on the foul stripe in converting on all but four, 20/24, freebies. The Titans missed 10, 21/31, from the area.
“The goal talaga namin this tournament is to hone our players. We won’t add any more for this tournament. What we need to work on is the gelling between our reinforcements,” Altamirano said about the composition of his team. “Like si Tristan (Perez) we haven’t played with him for two years na. If you notice kung pinasok namin yung second unit namin, humahabol yung kalaban. We still have to work on our cohesiveness.”
The National University-BDO Bulldogs (1-2) face the Mindanao Aguilas next on Thursday, February 18 at 2:00pm while the AMA Online Education Titans (0-3) look to break into the win column against the Wangs Basketball Couriers later in the day. Games will be played at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.
NU-BDO (93) – Salem 16, Alejandro 14, Aroga 14, Salim 9, Diputado 8, Labingisa 7, Perez 7, Javelona 6, Tansingco 6, Yu 6, Rono 0.
AMA (87) – McCarthy 21, Jamito 13, Mendoza 13, De Leon 12, Sargent 10, King 9, Dela Cruz 7, Arambulo 1, Calma 1, Hernandez 0, Macaranas 0.
Quarterscores: 26-18, 47-45, 69-68, 93-87.