National University (NU) gave new mentor Jamike Jarin a rousing debut in the league with an 86-69 demolition of University of the East (UE) at the start of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Bulldogs needed a third-quarter surge led by Dave Yu to pull away from a tight contest and book their first win under Jarin.
“It feels good when you won the opening game but there are a lot of things we need to improve on,” said Jarin, who led San Beda College to a crown last season in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Yu, who was part of NU’s 2014 championship team, scattered eight of his 14 points in the third quarter to go along with his eight rebounds while Reggie Morido produced 12 points to lead the Bulldogs.
Jay Jay Alejandro contributed 11 points while Issa Gaye tallied 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks also for NU.
“We just played good defense in the second half because we’re too sloppy in the first half,” said Yu, who came off the bench and provided the spark that Jarin needed to put away the Red Warriors.
Manuel Mosqueda’s two free throws gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead, 80-63, with only 4:13 remaining in the final period and UE never had an answer to absorb its opening-game defeat.
Alvin Pasaol led UE with 14 points but committed six of the Red Warriors’ 23 turnovers in the game. NU even had more turnovers, 28, but was simply too good to overcome in the game.
The game was still tied at 42-all midway in the third period until Yu anchored the Bulldogs’ decisive 17-3 run that resulted in a 59-45 cushion with 2:34 left in that stage allowing NU to seize the momentum of the match.