NU Bulldogs start UAAP campaign with a statement win over UE

Win when it matters.

This is what Coach Eric Altamirano said after the National University Bulldogs claimed their first win on their first game this season. This is the Bulldogs’ first win over the Red Warriors after losing to the Recto-based squad in their elimination round meetings last season and during their preseason games this year.

“We are 0-4 sa UE. But that’s what we’ve been doing in the last 5 months. Everybody is aware na we keep on losing to UE, but sabi nga namin let’s work on the important ones, like here in UAAP. So we are really happy to get this W.”

The National University Bulldogs banked on their towering center Alfred Aroga to get into the win column and start the season on a winning note.

The 6-foot-6 Cameroonian Bulldog recorded a double-double, 16 points and 13 rebounds with 4 blocks to lead the Bulldogs squad yesterday, September 7 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City. Also effective on the floor is J-Jay Alejandro who recorded 13 points in 5-of-9 field goal shooting.

The team dominated inside the paint recording 38 points compared to UE’s 24. Bulldogs also out-rebounded the opponent after tallying a total of 53 rebounds against UE’s 41.

It was a close fight between the two teams and NU was clinging to a one-point lead, barely two minutes remaining in the final quarter.

Aroga then hit a short stab to put the Bulldogs up, 69-66. Bulldogs then applied their suffocating defense to force the Warriors into settling for perimeter shots.

According to Altamirano, this win is a good start to their campaign this season. “UE is a Final Four team, we are in a tough battle but I think our defense bailed us in the fourth (quarter). We wanted to win in the rebounding department, we had a lot of turnovers but that’s expected against UE.”

Meanwhile, Aroga also assured that he will play in their next game even if his left ankle is slightly sprained in the dying minutes of the game.

“It’s really painful… But I just have to rest it, it’s okay lang.” the hulking Bulldogs’ center said.

This Sunday, September 11, the Bulldogs will try to get on a winning streak as they take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 4pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.