NU Bulldogs 86 – UE Red Warriors 69
The NU Bulldogs were the steadier team as they beat the UE Red Warriors in the season opener of the UAAP. Dave Yu had a breakout game as he dropped eight of his 14 points in the third quarter to lead the Bulldogs to the win.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 11-point lead, 16-5 behind their steady offensive execution . J-jay Alejandro manned the point guard role and he distributed the rock to the rest of his teammates well. But the Red Warriors slowly cut into the lead and pulled into a tie in the third quarter. That’s when NU started to slowly pull away for good. Matt Salem hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to start the run. Yu played good defense and got a steal in the back court to score on a fast break lay-up to give NU a 12-point lead.
In the end game, it was Alejandro that did the damage. He found open teammates well and scored big baskets to stave off the UE rally. Yu led the way for NU. Alejandro had an all-around game with 11 points, seven assists and five steals. Issa Gaye impacted the game on the defensive end where he had nine rebounds the three blocks.
ADMU Blue Eagles 85 – AdU Falcons 65
The Ateneo Blue Eagles took advantage of the absence of Papi Sarr and dominated the paint in their win over the Adamson Falcons. The Blue Eagles repeatedly and consistently attacked the inside on drives, post moves and offensive put backs. Ateneo scored 38 points in the paint and had 29 offensive rebounds in the blowout win.
Chibueze Ikeh set the tone early when he scored the first six points of the game all on scores in the paint. With Sarr out, Ikeh powered his way inside. He picked rebounds over the smaller Adamson big men and went up strong when he got the ball near the hoop. Ikeh collected a monster double-double with 18 points and 17 rebounds, 12 of which came on the offensive end.
Ateneo was able to build a 22 point lead in the third quarter. But the Falcons made a run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead down to just 10 points. But Thirdy Ravena took over with five straight points. He scored on an up-and-under floater and followed it up with a nice pump fake that got his defender in the air and then flipped up a shot that trickled in. That run gave Ateneo a 16-point lead with under three minutes left in the game. That lead was too much for Adamson to come back from.
Ravena led the Blue Eagles with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Jolo Mendoza was a surprise scorer off the bench as he dropped 14 points on three treys.