Michael Malonzo NU Bulldogs UAAP

NU’s Michael Malonzo against Adamso in UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines-National University gained solo leadership in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament after squeezing past Adamson, 58-54, on Saturday night at Mall of Asia Arena.

Michael Malonzo gave the Bulldogs a five-point cushion with less than a minute to go before watching the Falcons botch several opportunities in a failed effort to turn everything around.

Jerom Lastimosa, who misfired his first six shots from deep, finally connected to pull Adamson within three, but John Figueroa coolly sank his free throws on the other end with 4.9 seconds that sealed the Falcons’ third defeat in five outings.

“The ball luckily came to me. I just did what I had to do,” said Malonzo after rising above Vince Magbuhos in the play that ensured NU’s pace-setting 4-1 record.

Malonzo’s three-point play earlier against Lenda Douanga actually steadied the Bulldogs after the Falcons came within 49-51 on a drive by Joshua Yerro and Douanga’s freebies.

Jhon Lloyd Clemente had 14 points for the Bulldogs, who aim to sustain their streak against the La Salle Green Archers on Wednesday.

“I’m glad we escaped with this win. Still, we’re not satisfied. There are a lot of things that we need to address,” said NU coach Jeff Napa.

“La Salle is another strong team and we have to be ready for them.”

The Scores:

NU (58) — Clemente 14, Baclaan 8, Malonzo 7, Figueroa 7, Enriquez 7, Yu 7, Manansala 2, Tibayan 2, John 2, Galinato 2, Padrones 0, Mahinay 0, Minerva 0, Palacielo 0.

AdU (54) — Manzano 12, Lastimosa 11, Douanga 9, Yerro 7, Colonia 4, Hanapi 4, Jaymalin 3, V. Magbuhos 2, Torres 2, W. Magbuhos 0, Fuentebella 0, Barcelona 0, Flowers 0.

Quarterscores: 11-11, 28-25, 41-35, 58-54


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