National University (NU) foiled Far Eastern University’s (FEU) celebration with a convincing 62-47 win in Game 2 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament best-of-three finals on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bulldogs forced a deciding Game 3 as the series now tied at 1-1. FEU won in Game 1, 75-70.
The rubber match will be on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Troy Rosario sizzled with a double-double showing of 19 points and 14 rebounds while Glenn Khobuntin and Gelo Alolino provided the needed back up, scoring 17 and 12 mar- kers, respectively.
“We really focused going back to our fundamentals in terms of our defense. I thought our guards handled the pressure well, they stayed under control. They waited until getting a good shot,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano.
The Tamaraws got 17 points from Mark Belo and 15 from Mike Tolomia.
NU led by as much as 16 points in the second quarter, 22-6, on Rosa-rio’s jumper.
The Bulldogs protected the lead going into the final quarter, 43-30, when Tolomia, Roger Pogoy and Carl Cruz sparked a run for the Tamawas to cut the lead to just six points, 42-48, with just four minutes left.
But the Bulldogs slammed the door on FEU as Alolino sank back-to-back triples for a comfortable 56-44 lead. Since then, NU never looked back.
“Going into the third game, it’s going to be a different ball game. We need to be ready,” added Altamirano.
Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University’s Kiefer Ravena has officially been crowned as this season’s Most Valuable Player while his teammate Arvin Tolentino was the Rookie of the Year and Rosario got the Most Improved Player award.
Ravena led the Mythical Team along with Jeron Teng of De La Salle University, Mark Belo of FEU, Cameroonian Karim Abdul of University of Santo Tomas and Chris Newsome of Ateneo.