Bulldogs remain alive, whips Falcons

6 09 2007

National University shook off a clumsy first half performance to turn back Adamson University, 68-57, last September 6 to keep its Final Four hopes alive in the 70th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Bulldogs hardnosed defense forced the Falcons to commit a number of turnovers. The NU Bulldogs withstood their opponent’s attempted rally in the second half. They prevailed and improved to 5-7 with still two games left.

The must win those two games – Far Eastern University and Ateneo – and hope defending champion University of Santo Tomas will lose their remaining games to force a playoff for the last Final Four slot.

Center Joseph Lingao-Lingao and forward Edwin Asoro finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds each. While scorer Jonathan Fernandez went 5-of-5 from the free throw line to also finish with 13 points. The Falcons slipped to 1-11.

After leading 19-12 lead in the first period, the Bulldogs trailed midway thru the third quarter, 34-35, after the Falcons unleashed a furious rally.

But NU used its torrid defense to contain the turnover prone Adamson five to seize the edge and finally keep the Falcons at bay.

“It’s still about pride,” NU mentor Manny Dandan said. “Though things are already bleak for us in terms of landing in the Final Four tournament after three successive losses, at least we want to end our season by winning our remaining games.”

Patrick Cabahug, who led Adamson with 16 points, sliced the Bulldogs’ advantage to 44-47 early in the fourth quarter, but NU responded with an 11-4 burst capped by the 7 straight points of Asoro to swell its lead to 61-50 with only 2:58 minutes remaining. The Bulldogs were never threatened the rest of the way.

Individual scores:

NU 68–Lingao-Lingao 13, Fernandez 13, Asoro 13, Garcia 10, Luy 3, Malagueño 3, Jahnke 3, Aguilar 2, Galapon 2, Salvado 2, Catamora 2, Ponferrada 1, Dela Cruz 1, Baloran 0.

ADAMSON 57–Cabahug 16, Colina 12, Canuday 12, Hugnatan 6, Cañada 4, Gorospe 3, Alvarez 2, Gonzalgo 2, Olalia 0, Margallo 0, Yambot 0, Santos 0.

Quarters: 19-12, 29-27, 47-40, 68-57

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