National University pounced on an Ateneo side that sorely missed the explosive plays of Kiefer Ravena as the Bulldogs drubbed the Blue Eagles, 64-54, in a UAAP men’s basketball tournament shocker yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Ray Parks pumped in 22 points for the Bulldogs, who pulled away by as many as 24 points, 59-35, before the jittery Eagles, champions in the last five seasons, managed to whittle the lead with a rally with five minutes left.
“We knew coming into the game that he (Ravena) was a doubtful starter, but the way we prepared, we prepared as if he was there,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
Ateneo coach Bo Perasol announced the other day that Ravena wouldn’t suit up against the Bulldogs due to a sprained ankle. But hours before the match, Perasol said the star guard declared he was feeling better and the coach decided to use him “if fielding him would benefit the team.”
Clearly far from healthy, Ravena didn’t see action for the entire second half after playing for eight minutes in the first two quarters. He finished with two points on a 1-of-6 shooting clip.
Adamson also picked up its first victory following a 79-67 rout of University of the Philippines in the first game.
The Bulldogs and the Falcons joined opening-day winners Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas in the early lead.
Emmanuel Mbe posted a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who won for the first time in six years over the Eagles, who finished with a woeful 20-of-72 clip from the field.
Dennice Villamor knocked in nine of his 13 points from three-point range to help lift the Bulldogs, who last won over the Eagles, 96-88, in overtime on Sept. 15, 2007.
Jericho Cruz helped fuel the Falcons’ strong start to finish with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals, while Ingrid Sewa debuted with a double-double of 15 markers and 10 boards.
“I’m just happy we were able to control the game from start to finish,” said coach Leo Austria, whose Falcons built an early 30-19 lead that stretched to as many as 18 points, 53-35, in the second half.
The Maroons, the cellar-dwellers in the last four seasons, came within six points, 49-55, before Cruz buried four of the Falcons’ next five points to put the lead back up again, 60-49.
ADAMSON 79—Cruz 19, Sewa 15, Cabrera 11, Brondial 9, Petilos 8, Julkipli 8, Rios 4, Iñigo 3, Agustin 2, Trollano 0, Ochea 0, Monteclaro 0, Bernabe 0, Abrigo 0.
UP 67—Marata 20, Soyud 10, Asilum 10, Lao 6, Wong 4, Reyes 4, Pascual 4, Ball 4, Gallarza 3, Harris 2, Paras 0, Ligad 0, Gingerich 0.
Quarters: 18-13, 36-28, 60-49, 79-67
NU 64—Parks 22, Mbe 14, Villamor 13, Javillonar 5, Alolino 4, Rosario 2, Khobuntin 2, Alejandro 2, Roño 0, De Guzman 0.
ATENEO 54—Tiongson 13, Elorde 10, Buenafe 10, Newsome 9, Erram 4, Ravena 2, Pessumal 2, Golla 2, Capacio 2, Tolentino 0, Babilonia 0.
Quarters: 15-10, 33-21, 50-32, 64-54