In a game where they led wire to wire, the National University Bulldogs dominated past the University of the East Red Warriors, 86-69, in the opening game of UAAP Season 80, Saturday at the Mall of Asia arena in Pasay city.
After establishing a lead 20-13 lead in the first quarter, the Bulldogs never looked back and push the lead to as big as 17 in the second half courtesy of Dave Yu who scored 10 of his 14 points in the last two quarters.
The lanky forward Yu tallied 14 points on an effcient 5-of-8 shooting along with eight rebounds and two steals while Reggie Morido chipped in 12 markers.
Also instrumental in the win was first-year Senegalese big man Issa Gaye who chipped in 11 markers, nine boards and two blocks. Star guard JJ Alejandro, for his stuffed the stat sheet as he scored 11 points, grabbed five rebound, dished seven assists and got five steals.
“I was really happy for Issa because he has waited for the longest time,” new Bulldogs head coach Jamike Jarin said of his lanky 6-foot-8 center. “Issa, he lifted us. He was the reason why we got the lead in the first quarter because it was all him. Then Morido stepped in, then Dave Yu in the third then everybody just contributed and got the win so that was just selfless team basketball.”
For the Warriors, Alvin Pasaol scattered 14 points and grabbed eight boards in a losing cause.
“It’s always hard to play the opening game e,” Jarin said of the win. “We’re just very happy that we got the win on opening day.”
NU’s next assignment will be the DLSU Green Archers on September 16, Saturday at 2 pm at the Araneta Coliseum.