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NU secures first Filoil win with Jake Figueroa’s OT heroics against Ateneo


A week ago, National University found itself on the wrong end of an unexpected game-winning floater in the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup.

On Thursday, still at San Juan’s Filoil EcoOil Centre, the Bulldogs pulled off their own surprise game-winner, with Jake Figueroa’s right hand lifting them to a thrilling 66-64 overtime triumph over Ateneo de Manila University.

Figueroa’s runner in the dying moments of extra time allowed the Bulldogs to finally get into their groove after four tries.

“We’re trying to get our game back talaga. Although nagsunod-sunod yung talo namin, but still, yun yung kailangan nila to get back their confidence and rhythm para makabalik kami talaga sa tamang wisyo,” said head coach Jeff Napa.

With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Figueroa’s layup pushed NU ahead 57-52. Ian Espinosa, however, drained two free throws to trim the gap to three before banking in a trey to force overtime.

The two teams were still going at it in the extra period until Figueroa’s heroics, as well as Blue Eagle Lebron Nieto’s missed triple try, gave the Bulldogs a reason to celebrate at long last.

“Yung last shot ko na yun, doon nabuo yung confidence ko. Although talo kami last three games, kailangan talaga naming bumawi and gigil talaga kaming manalo kaya siguro binigay sa amin ‘tong game,” said Figueroa who registered 16 points and eight boards.

Andrew Bongo and Espinosa wound up with 18 and 12 markers, respectively, for still-struggling 0-3 Ateneo.

2024-Filoil-UP-def-FEU-Sean-Alter NU secures first Filoil win with Jake Figueroa's OT heroics against Ateneo ADMU Basketball EAC FEU JRU MIT News NU SBC SSC-R UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

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The UAAP bracket, though, is still being ruled by University of the Philippines which rolled to 5-0 after stopping Far Eastern University dead in its tracks, 95-84.

#ReadMore  Letran troika waits for the right moment

Sean Alter anchored the attack for the Fighting Maroons with 15 points on top of four rebounds, while Dikachi Udodo punched in 20 markers and six boards.

Jedric Daa top-scored with 22 points and four rebounds for the Tamaraws who absorbed their first loss in three games.

Over at the NCAA side, Edzel Galoy’s 20-point outing led Colegio de San Juan de Letran to a 68-66 escape of Jose Rizal University.

The Knights notched their fourth straight win after a 0-2 start, while the Heavy Bombers fell to a 1-4 record despite James Barrera’s 18 points.

San Beda University then put the clamps on San Sebastian College-Recoletos for a 77-64 decision to tie their archrival and Emilio Aguinaldo College at 4-2.

Emman Tagle poured in 14 points to go with four rebounds and three assists, while Bryan Sajonia backed him up with 13 points, four boards, and two assists.

The 1-4 Golden Stags were paced by Tristan Felebrico and Nikko Aguilar, who both got 10 points.

After a tough loss to San Sebastian, Jeco Bancale and John Jaboneta teamed up for Mapua University which overcame another sluggish start to foil EAC, 75-71.

The Bancale-Jaboneta duo racked up 19 and 15 points, respectively, to allow the Cardinals to even their standing at 3-3.

King Gurtiza and Harvey Pagsanjan, on the other hand, each contributed 11 points for the Generals.

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