The National University Bulldogs notched its second victory of UAAP Season 82 as they averted a second half meltdown and bested the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in overtime, 85-75, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
Smooth operator Dave Ildefonso once again carried the team on his back and poured in 27 points (six in OT) to go along with 11 boards and two assists to help improve NU’s record to 2-7.
Up by 18 big points in the third quarter, NU’s inexperience once again showed as they allowed FEU to mount a 17-0 run and take a 67-65 advantage with 2:02 left in regulation.
The Bulldogs were fortunate enough to redeem themselves in the extra period, and Ildefonso believes his team learned valuable lessons from the intense match.
“Sana natapos na nung fourth quarter, pero yun nga napunta pa sa overtime. Pero lesson learned na lang siguro na wag mag-relax. Buti na lang na-shoot ni JLC yung sa huli, yung three points sa fourth quarter. Kung hindi na-shoot yun, for sure wala kami sa press room ngayon. Salamat sa teammates ko kasi they made the right plays saka binibigay nila yung bola sa akin at kay JLC,” he said.
NU is still sitting at the bottom of the standings with five games left in the eliminations round — a game behind Adamson and UE who currently hold 3-5 slates. The second-generation star understands that his team needs to come up with a sense of urgency and string a couple of consecutive wins together to have a shot at the Final 4.
“Siguro hangga’t may laro pa kami, lalaban lang talaga kami. Yun rin sabi ni coach Jamike kanina, laban lang. Tapos siguro napakita namin ngayon against FEU yung fight namin within. So siguro sana madala lang namin yun in the upcoming games and practices namin that we have left. As long as there are games left, laban lang talaga. We have nothing to lose naman, nowhere to go but up,” he said.
“Sabi nga ni coach Jamike, yung mantra namin we win together, we lose together.“
NU battles Adamson next on Saturday, October 12, at the Mall of Asia Arena.