A second half scoring barrage towed National University Bulldogs into a 75-64 victory over University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup Thursday noon at San Juan.
The Bulldogs now locked-up with Arellano U at the top spot with identical 5-1 slate.
“I was happy with how we played our defense in 1st half although you have to give it to UP, they have some tough shots. and I told the boys, continue what we’re doing,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
And they just did as the Bulldogs clamped down on defense transforming a 6-point halftime lead to a commanding 66-42 lead halfway through the final canto.
“And that’s what happened in the 3rd, we focused on our defense, we made stops and we were making shots.” he claimed.
But Altamirano was far from satisfied, emphasizing their inconsistency that trimmed their huge lead in the dying minutes.
“I think we lost our defense in the last 3 minutes. We wanted to give other players a chance,” coach Altamirano explained.
But when asked if they are already at full strength heading into the incoming UAAP season, Altamirano said that they are still a work in progress.
“It’s a good win for us but there are still lessons to be learned. “
JV Gallego and Ced Labing-isa finished the game with 14 points apiece for the Bulldogs, who already clinched a quarterfinal spot but will still slug it out against Arellano U on Sunday for the top seeding. – By John Bryan Ulanday