For a moment there, National U appeared ready to become the first team to stain La Salle’s unblemished record.
The Bulldogs had a slim lead entering the final canto, but suddenly lost firepower in the the last eight minutes of action which the Green Archers and Jeron Teng took advantage to steal the game.
NU head coach Eric Altamirano rued his team losing its discipline in the crucial stretch in what could have been the biggest story in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball so far, if they did manage to upset La Salle.
But they failed to do so.
“I thought we lost our discipline in the fourth,” Altamirano said after the 75-66 loss, their first of the season, at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
“We got out of the game plan. Those costly turnovers, and we weren’t able to stop Jeron Teng,” he added.
NU was still up early in the fourth before a mini Teng 6-2 run gave La Salle a 62-59 advantage.
Matthew Salem tried to fight back for the Bulldogs and still managed to cut the lead to one-point with 4:47 before the Archers secured the win via an 11-5 run.
“For some reason parang they were tentative. Nawala yung aggressiveness.That created a lot of turnovers for us, doon nakakuha ng momentum yung La Salle.”
La Salle’s “Mayhem” defense forced NU to commit 29 turnovers which the Green Archers converted to 33 points on the other end.
Altamirano admitted his team is still young and hopeful they can recover quickly.
“Adamson is coming from a big win. We really have to move on from this game and really focus on Adamson,” said Altamirano, whose wards will face the dangerous Falcons on Wednesday. – By John Chester Fajardo
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