LINGAYEN— It was a well fought game by Team Pangasinan that National University (NU) Bulldogs won, 96-91 last September 5 at the NU Gym in Manila.
The fourth of a series of tune-up games, the exhibition match saw an inspired Pangasinan squad in their match against the touted former UAAP Champion.
Roxar Melendez of Team Pangasinan, backed up by Mark Kenneth Castillo, Reynald Ballesteros and Mariano Catabay, III, outscored the NU Bulldogs in the early part of the first quarter. But the Bulldogs retaliated to secure secured a 7-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 23-16.
The Bulldogs sustained their momentum to keep Team Pangasinan, led by Marvin Jophet Mamaril, MVP of the 2nd Inter-town City Basketball Tournament in Pangasinan, at bay.
Pangasinan sniper Mamaril stole the limelight and nailed 3-point shots consecutively to rally his team 21-23 with 6 minutes and 50 seconds left in the second quarter.
But again, Bulldogs stunned the Pangasineneses with a battery of 3-point shots and earned a 9-point lead with 1 minute left in the second quarter. At the end of the second quarter, NU was leading, 51-34.
As third quarter started, Melendez, backstopped by Castillo, Catabay and Garnet Asuncion, bounced back to reduce the lead by 4 points by the end of the third quarter, 71-67.
Shooting match between the two squads thrilled the spectators in the first minutes of the fourth quarter.
When the buzzer was pressed, the Bulldogs knew it was a hard earned victory over Team Pangasinan when the lead was cut to 5 points.
Governor Amado Espino III, the brainchild behind the Inter-town Basketball and the formation of Team Pangasinan, said the tune-up series will prepare Team Pangasinanto players for playing slots in universities in Manila as scholars, and ultimately, in the professional league as PBA players. (With report from PIO/SMDG)
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