UAAP hoops: Yu’s clutch baskets help NU survive DLSU in overtime thriller

Patrick Yu was in the zone against DLSU (The UAAP Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The bank was open on a Sunday afternoon for Patrick Yu.

With the game deadlocked at 69-all in the back-and-forth overtime period, the lanky swingman stepped up for the National University (NU) Bulldogs and drilled a bank shot from the three-point line while following it up with an off-the-board floater that widened the gap, helping his squad escape the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 80-77, last October 15, 2023.

Yu’s five straight markers made the difference for the Bulldogs and kicked off their final offensive push to fend off the courageous rally from the Green Archers.

After the Yu sequence, DLSU was able to generate seven quick points courtesy of baskets from Evan Nelle, Mark Nonoy, and Mike Phillips but time wasn’t on their side anymore with only 1.3 seconds left in the ball game.

It was one of the most entertaining games of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament as both top basketball programs duked it out from the start of the game down to the crucial stretch of the final quarter.

The Green Archers were looking to maintain their defensive tenacity and their slim 67-64 lead with only 57.3 seconds left in the final frame but NU’s Jake Figueroa drilled the game-tying trifecta from the right corner.

DLSU had the chance to break the deadlock and increase their lead to two after Phillips was fouled on his way to the basket but missed both of his shots from the charity stripe.

The game shifted to NU’s final offensive possession with only 10 seconds left. Steve Nash Enriquez went coast-to-coast for a floater attempt from the free throw line but unfortunately, DLSU got away after the ball slipped out of his hands forcing overtime.

Enriquez quickly made up for his costly final shot after drawing first blood in overtime, scooping a smooth layup after blowing past Joaqui Manuel in the perimeter for a 69-67 lead.

DLSU answered with their own deuce as Phillips tipped in a miss from Kevin Quiambao but Yu put NU on his back and snowballed with his five-point spree that sucked the life out of the Green Archers.

Figueroa led the charge for the Bulldogs with an all-around performance of 15 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists backstopped by Jio Manansala with 13 markers.

Despite a monster 25-point game from Quiambao, the Green Archers suffered its second defeat in the tournament and will be looking to regroup this Wednesday as they set up a highly-anticipated clash with the UP Fighting Maroons.