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Tiebreaker Times


Rey Suerte takes over in final game as UE escapes NU in season-ender

Rey Suerte uncorked 25 points to cap off his short University of the East career and tow his side to a 79-77 win over National University, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It was the fitting send-off for the 6-foot-3 super scorer, leading the Red Warriors to finish UAAP Season 82 with a 4-10 slate.

“How I wish we could have done better, na mas maganda ang record. But after going through the 14 games, let’s give it to the other teams,” said active consultant Lawrence Chongson. “Right now, they’re head and shoulders above us.”

Suerte buried the big triple that put UE up, 74-72 with 42.2 ticks remaining. Dave Ildefonso then quickly tied the game at 74 with a layup in the final 33.7 seconds.

The Monkayo, Compostela Valley native responded by banking a one-hander that once again gave the Red Warriors the 76-74 lead in the final 20.1.

Ildefonso had a chance to tie the game, but his fadeaway fell short, leading to Philip Manalang and Suerte pushing UE’s lead up to four, 78-74.

JV Gallego then buried a trey in the last 1.2 seconds that kept NU in the running, 78-77. But Manalang locked the game up with a split with 0.4 seconds to spare.

Alex Diakhite provided the muscle for the Red Warriors with his double-double of 17 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. Meanwhile, the graduating guard Manalang unfurled five points, seven assists, and four boards.

Gallego topscored for the Bulldogs with 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Dave Ildefonso collected 20 points, five assists, and three boards.

#ReadMore  Pinoyliga: Clutch Jumamoy lifts NU past UP in 2OT thriller, books Final clash vs Ateneo

NU ended the season on a five-game losing skid to finish with a 2-12 record.

The Scores:

UE 79 — Suerte 28, Diakhite 17, Abanto 6, Cruz 6, Pagsanjan 6, Manalang 5, Mendoza 5, Antiporda 3, Tolentino 3, Apacible 0.

NU 77 — Gallego 20, D. Ildefonso 20, Gaye 10, S. Ildefonso 9, Clemente 5, Oczon 5, Galinato 4, Joson 2, Minerva 2, Rangel 0, Yu 0.

Quarterscores: 22-21, 37-42, 59-57, 79-77.

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