Aroga lifts NU on his broad shoulders for seventh straight win
by rick olivares
Alfred Aroga and the National University Bulldogs pounded the tough Arellano University Chiefs in the second half to remain one of two undefeated teams in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup. The Bulldogs ran away 86-71 winners for a 7-0 record that guaranteed them a spot in the quarterfinals.
From a 43-39 halftime lead, Aroga, NU’s first year center from Cameroon, scored seven quick inside points in a 10-0 run to somewhat take the starch out of the Chiefs. By the time the Chiefs put some points on the board in the third period – a hook shot by center Prince Caperal over Aroga – there were less than six minutes to play in the quarter.
Although the Chiefs eventually got going, NU dropped 30 points on them in that crucial third period that proved to be the turning point of the match.
“We played well in the second half,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano. “We couldn't get into a rhythm in the first half because we had so many turnovers. I am glad that we have Gelo Alolino back. But it's hard to tell where we are because Jean Mbe isn't back yet.”
“Coach told me to go inside and that's what I did,” explained Aroga of his second half explosion for which Arellano University had no answer.
Aroga scored 22 points on top of pulling down 15 rebounds. Rookie Rodolfo Alejandro scored 12 while Denice Villamor added 10. Ray Parks was held to nine points by the tough guarding of the Chiefs’ Fil-Canadian James Forrester who is just as athletic as the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player.
Parks shot 5-12 from the field (3-4 from the free throw line) while Forrester top scored for Arellano with 15 points.
The Chiefs lost their second match in a row after winning four straight. They were piped by the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 81-79 last Wednesday when Mike Tolomia converted a free throw in the late seconds of the game. The Chiefs had an opportunity to win the match but they turned the ball over in their final three possessions.
Arellano dropped to 4-2.
NU 86 – Aroga 22, Alejandro 12, Villamor 10, Parks 9, Rosario 9, Alolino 7, Roño 6, Javillionar 6, De Guzman 3, Neypes 2, Labing-isa 0, Khobuntin 0, Perez 0, Javelona 0.
AU 71 – Forrester 15, Pinto 15, Caperal 11, Nicholls 7, Agovida 6, Enriquez 6, Jalalon 5, Bangga 5, Margallo 1, Salcedo 0, Cadavis 0.