MANILA, Philippines—A motivated National University bounced back in a huge way and blew out University of Santo Tomas, 87-69, in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
According to Jolo Manansala, who finished with 13 points and four rebounds, coach Jeff Napa’s anger towards them after their loss to the University of the Philippines fueled them to play better against the Growling Tigers.
“We stayed [after practice], but he really didn’t talk to us so we all thought to talk after our loss to UP because it was heavy. Last night, we all ate and had an open forum about how we should play like we did against Ateneo,” said Manansala in Filipino.
“All we thought about is to just play. We should just enjoy it because that’s what was missing in our last games, our enjoyment.”
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) October 11, 2023
The Bulldogs, who improved to 3-1, blew UST out of the water in the first quarter alone after a dominant 30-14 opening frame. They led by as many as 28.
Since then, NU never looked back to deal the Growling Tigers their fourth loss in as many games.
Mike Malonzo contributed big for the Bulldogs with 14 points and six rebounds while Jake Figueroa and Steve Nash Enriquez also chipped in 11 and 10 markers, respectively, in the win.
Christian Manaytay’s near double-double effort of 18 points and nine boards was put to waste while Nic Cabañero scored 16 markers in a losing effort.