Bulldogs down Fighting Maroons

15 07 2007

Although the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons fell short of stealing a win from the National University Bulldogs, UP received more praise for giving out their best fight so far in the Season 70 of the UAAP at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last July 15.

The Bulldogs are now 2-1 after their 86-79 victory over the Fighting Maroons who are still winless in the season at 0-3.

In the first quarter, Jonathan Fernandez and Edwin Asoro teamed up to ignite an 8-0 run for the Bulldogs. It was eventually stopped by a three-point FG by Woody Co with under 5 minutes remaining. Both teams continued to exchange from the perimeter until the end of the quarter with NU up by five, 23-18.

UP showed excellent defense in the second quarter and was able to outscore the Bulldogs. Guards Dexter Rosales and Mike Gamboa converted back-to-back FGs in the quarter. Cyrus Malagueños’ three ceased the momentum for UP. But a couple of big baskets from VJ Serios and Woody Co sparked a 9-0 run for the Diliman-based club with 4 minutes left to play and tallied a 7-point UP lead, 26-33.

Joseph Lingao-Lingao, Raymond Aguilar, Jonathan Jahnke and Aaron Galapon were able to keep things steady for NU and rallied for the lead, 34-35, with only a minute remaining. NU was no way giving up as a basket from Fernandez. A shot from behind the arc from Jahnke with 4 seconds remaining ended the first half with NU on top, 39-37.

In the 3rd quarter, Aguilar lifted the Bulldogs while Gamboa was the main man-of-the quarter for UP. Gamboa made two excellent highlight reels for a rookie against NU’s big men with 6 minutes to play. Meanwhile, Aguilar manged to get inside the paint and convert on 2nd chance points. NU still led with a 3 point margin, 64-61, after the 3rd quarter.

With still 8 minutes to play, Serios received his fifth personal foul leaving his post to Jay Agbayani. Meanwhile, Aguilar was still unstoppable inside the shaded area. His lay-up with 7:54 remaining in the clock gave NU a 10-point lead, 73-63. Migs De Asis gave an immediate response but Aguilar replied back. Mike Gamboa completed a three-point play with 6:13 remaining.

After three turnovers called on NU including a double-dribble by Jahnke, a traveling violation by Asoro and 3-second violation called on Aguilar with 4 minutes to play, brought the UP back in the game, 75-70.

Aguilar didn’t complete his bonus free throw but Chris Catamora’s two FGs extended the Bulldogs’ lead to eleven, 81-70. Mike Gamboa’s last four shots, including a buzzer beater trey, a couple of free throws from Agbayani and Mark Lopez, could only cut NU’s lead to seven, 86-79.

“We were worried because we know that UP is not afraid of us,” said Coach Manny Dandan after the game. He also commended his player Raymond Aguilar for an excellent offensive performance.

It was Aguilar’s best game so far for NU this season.

National University will go against another tough team in Ateneo (2-1) on Saturday, July 21. UP’s next fate will be decided in a game against another winless team, the UST Growling Tigers(0-2).

Individual Scores:

NU-86

Fernandez-23, Aguilar-18, Jahnke-12, Asoro-9, Lingao-Lingao-6, Catamora-5, Galapon-4, Malagueño-3, Garcia-2, Salvado-2, Dela Cruz-2, Ponferrada-0, Terso-0, Luy-0.

UP-79

Gamboa-25, Co-13, Lopez-9, Reyes-8, Serios-8, Agbayani-5, De Asis-4, Rosales-3, Socrates-2, Epres-2, Marfori-0, Wong-0.

Quarter Scores: 23-18, 39-37, 64-61, 86-79

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