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Bulldogs run away with win over Tigers to boost bid for semis bonus

MANILA, Philippines -- The National University Bulldogs pulled away in the second half and drubbed the UST Growling Tigers, 76-65, en route to their third straight victory in UAAP Season 86 action Saturday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

With the Bulldogs leading by just seven at the half, 35-28, NU started the third quarter with a 7-1 run off a Pat Yu corner 3-pointer to take a 42-29 lead.

Since then, they never looked back.

NU went up by as much as 18 points in the game after Kean Baclaan hit a shot to take a 64-46 lead for the Bulldogs with 5:29 remaining in the game.

Nic Cabanero answered with basket of his own, but Omar John kept the Bulldogs' distance, 66-48.

Cabanero and Christian Manaytay tried to will the Tigers' comeback, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

Baclaan had 13 points for NU. He was followed by Yu with 12 markers.

Manaytay and Cabanero posted 14 and 13 points, respectively.

With the win, the Bulldogs strengthened their grip to a twice-to-beat semifinals advantage as they tied UP once again with a 10-2 record.

They are currently ahead of the red-hot La Salle Green Archers, which are currently sitting at 8-3.

For its part, UST dropped further down the cellar with a 1-11 slate.

With the coveted twice-to-beat advantage within their reach, NU will be facing Adamson and UP in their last two games of the elims.