UP deals NU fourth heartbreaking loss

UP survives a resilient NU squad, hanging on to a 1-point victory (UAAP Photo)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The powerhouse UP Fighting Maroons survived a young and talented NU Bulldogs team after hanging on to a 1-point lead, 80-79, handing the Bulldogs their fourth straight loss by a single-point margin in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s basketball.

NU started slicing through UP’s interior to challenge reigning UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie’s defense and put him in early foul trouble.

Despite failing to sit Akhuetie early, the Bulldogs still got the lead in the first canto, 18-23, but the combined effort of Akhuetie and Kobe Paras sparked a massive 23-4 run to edge the Bulldogs out of the lead, 41-27 with 3 minutes left before the half.

The second half was a nail-biter, as both teams leveled each other’s offensive sets, answering shot after shot until the fourth.

Kobe Paras was unstoppable in his second game in the UAAP, posting 25 markers while getting help from Akhuetie with 19 points and Juan Gomez de Liano scoring 17.

NU had a chance to win the game in the final seconds of the game when Dave Ildefonso sank a rainbow shot that put them within striking distance, 79-80.

The Bulldogs fouled David Murrell who missed both of his shots from the charity stripe.

In dire need of a basket, the Bulldogs blitzed into the paint but couldn’t convert, losing in another heartbreaker.