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UE survives NU to end season on high note

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Despite bowing out of the playoff contention, UE still ended Season 82 in their own terms.

The Red Warriors concluded their year with a 79-77 escape over NU Bulldogs in the last elimination games of UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday October 30.

UE finished the season with a 4-10 record — surpassing their previous 1-13 card last year.

Both teams were changing leads throughout the second half, until Rey Suerte buried a triple to give UE a crucial 74-72 lead with 42 seconds remaining in the payoff period.

Dave Ildefonso scored a game-tying basket only for Suerte to responded with a bucket of his own with 20.1 ticks left, 76-74.

UE sealed the deal when both graduating Philip Manalang and Suerte split their charities, despite JV Gallego burying a desperation trey.

“Wala ganun talaga. How I wish we could have done better, but after going into the 14 games, just give it to mga ibang teams. They are head and shoulders above us,” said UE active consultant Lawrence Chongson.

One-and-done star Suerte punched in 28 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks while Alex Diakhite added 17 markers, 12 boards, and five dimes.

UE will bid farewell to graduating Suerte, Manalang, Nick Abanto, and Jed Mendoza.

Meanwhile, NU dealt with their worst record in 10 years with 2-12 this Season 82.

Dave Ildefonso and JV Gallego paced NU with 20 points apiece.

The Scores:

UE 79 – Suerte 28, Diakhite 17, Abanto 6, Cruz 6, Pagsanjan 6, Manalang 5, Mendoza 5, Antiporda 3, Tolentino 3, Apacible 0.

NU 77 – Gallego 20, D. Ildefonso 20, Gaye 10, S. Ildefonso 9, Clemente 5, Oczon 5, Galinato 4, Joson 2, Minerva 2, Rangel 0, Yu 0.

Quarter Scores: 22-21, 37-42, 59-57, 79-77.