MANILA, Philippines – A motivated National University bounced back in a big way to eliminate the University of Santo Tomas, 87-69, in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
According to Jolo Manansala, who finished with 13 points and four rebounds, coach Jeff Napa’s anger towards them after their loss to the University of the Philippines made them play better against the Growling Tigers.
“We stayed (after training) but he didn’t really talk to us, so we all thought to talk after our loss to UP because it was tough. Last night we all had dinner and had an open forum on how to play like we did against Ateneo,” Manansala said in Filipino.
“All we thought about was just playing. We just have to enjoy it, because that was missing in our last games, our fun.”
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The Bulldogs, who improved to 3-1, blew UST out of the water in the first quarter alone after a dominant 30-14 opening frame. They led by as many as 28.
Since then, NU has never looked back, handing the Growling Tigers their fourth loss in as many games.
Mike Malonzo contributed big time for the Bulldogs with 14 points and six rebounds, while Jake Figueroa and Steve Nash Enriquez also scored 11 and 10 markers, respectively, in the win.
Christian Manaytay’s near double-double effort of 18 points and nine boards went down the drain, while Nic Cabañero scored 16 markers in a losing effort.