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UAAP 86 MBB: Baclaan, NU fend off FEU for share of lead


National University fended off Far Eastern University, 71-65, for back-to-back wins in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs, who also defeated Ateneo de Manila University on opening day, 77-64, kept in pace with early league-leader University of the Philippines at 2-0, while the Tamaraws stayed winless in two games.

Although NU did enough to come away with the win, Bulldogs head coach Jeff Napa was unhappy with the way his team performed.

“We’re lucky enough to get this W because we played a really bad game. FEU’s a dangerous team eh yun naman sinabi ko sa players a few days ago,” said the third-year head coach who also played for NU during his college days.

FEU tried to fight back all fourth quarter long but NU always provided the necessary answers to stay afloat.

With the Bulldogs ahead by just five, 67-62, Kean Baclaan drained a turnaround jumper at the 1:56 mark before their defense held the Tamaraws scoreless until the final six seconds.

Baclaan tallied an all-around line of 15 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and four steals while also being a plus-19 in his 25 minutes and 11 seconds of action.

“Inisip ko lang talaga na hindi kami pwede matalo kasi kapag natalo kami grabe yung sermon bukas eh. Sabi nga ni Coach Jeff bad game kami, kung nagshu-shoot yung mga tira ng FEU siguro talo kami,” said Baclaan, a sophomore guard.

Mike Malonzo followed with 10 points while Steve Nash Enriquez added nine points, four rebounds and three assists.

#ReadMore  Arvin Tolentino sparks FEU in bounce back win against UST

Senegalese big man Omar John produced nine points, eight rebounds, and two blocks, while Jake Figueroa grabbed 12 rebounds while also making eight points.

Up next for NU will be the Fighting Maroons on Saturday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Cholo Anonuevo paced the Tamaraws with 16 points and eight rebounds but shot a poor 4-of-9 clip from the free throw line.

Ljay Gonzales chipped in 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals, while Xyrus Torres had 14 points in 18 shots.

FEU will try to capture its first win when it meets University of the East.

The Scores:

NU 71 – Baclaan 15, Malonzo 10, Enriquez 9, John 9, Figueroa 8, Lim 5, Yu 4, Palacielo 4, Manansala 4, Parks 3, Jumamoy 0, Padrones 0.

FEU 65 – Anonuevo 16, Gonzales 15, Torres 14, Sleat 8, Bagunu 5, Alforque 2, Ona 2, Faty 2, Bautista 1, Tempra 0.

Quarterscores: 14-8, 43-30, 57-51, 71-65.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.


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