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NU downs Warriors

By JEROME LAGUNZAD

Games Today
(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – UST vs NU
4 p.m. – FEU vs La Salle

It didn’t take long for National University veteran Dave Wilson Yu to make up for lost time.

The fourth-year guard emerged as the unlikely spark in their decisive breakaway as the new-look Bulldogs trounced University of the East Red Warriors, 86-69, yesterday in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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Slowed down by a nagging left ankle injury in their forgettable campaign last year, the 6-foot-2 Yu drilled in eight points, including a pair of triples, during the Bulldogs’ 20-6 surge that enabled them to pull away from the Red Warriors.

“This guy on my left, I don’t know what he ate today but just keep eating that,” said new NU coach Jamike Jarin, clearly surprised – yet very pleased – with Yu’s efficient 14-point performance that helped him earn a triumphant league coaching debut.

Skipper J-Jay Alejandro provided the stability with an all-around performance of 11 points, seven assists, five steals and as many rebounds while 6-foot-9 Senegalese big man Issa Gaye went a rebound short of double-double, finishing with 11 points and three blocks, to help the Bulldogs’ cause.

Top gun Alvin Pasaol tallied a game-high-tying 14 points but shot just 6-of-14 from the field while backups Mark Maloles and Rey Acuno added 10 markers each for the Red Warriors, who wiped out an early 11-point lead and even knotted the count at 42-all midway in the third.

Meanwhile, host Far Eastern U took fans on a trip down memory lane as the UAAP honored its notable athletes across all sports during colorful opening rites.

Former Ateneo swimming sensation Jessie Khing Lacuna, a 2012 London Olympics veteran, and fellow Olympian, table tennis star Yan Lariba, represented by her mother Imelda, headlined the accomplished crop, most of them national team standouts, coming from eight member schools.

The scores:
NU 86 – Yu 14, Morido 12, Alejandro 11, Gaye 11, Aquino 9, DIputado 6, Salem 5, Abatayo 5, Bartlett 5, Mosqueda 4, Joson 2, Lastimosa 2, Cauilan 0, Tibayan 0, Flores 0

UE 69 – Pasaol 14, Maloles 10, Acuno 10, Olayon 6, Derige 5, Armenion 5, Abanto 5, Manalang 4, Varilla 2, Conner 2, Cruz 2, Bartolome 2, Cullar 2, Gagate 0

Quarterscores: 20-13, 38-30, 66-53, 86-69.

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