NATIONAL University spoiled University of Santo Tomas’ bid to stay perfect as Ray Parks pumped in 20 points to lift the Bulldogs to a 71-67 triumph over the Tigers yesterday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Parks fueled a third-quarter breakaway that lifted NU to a 54-42 lead before the Bulldogs withstood the Tigers’ late rally even without chief gunner Jeric Teng, who sat out the entire second half due to an injured right shoulder.
“We knew coming into this game that we’re going to have a hard time against UST because they never give up until the end,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “I kept telling my boys that we need to keep our composure.”
NU and UST wound up tied at 2-1 along with Adamson, which also fought off University of the East’s furious fourth-quarter comeback to forge a 78-71 triumph in the first game.
Roider Cabrera knocked in all of his 19 markers in the first half, 15 from beyond the arc, to fuel the Falcons’ sizzling start where they led by 25 points, 50-25, at the break.
Ingrid Sewa added 15 points, 11 rebounds and a couple of blocks for the Falcons, who pulled ahead by as many as 30 points, 55-25, before the Warriors whittled it down to a single digit behind Roi Sumang.
Parks sat out for nearly half of the fourth period due to foul trouble but Emmanuel Mbe and Gelo Alolino kept the Bulldogs on top with key baskets in the last three minutes.
Teng sat out the rest of the game after saying he couldn’t move his shoulder after he fell when Jeoff Javillonar slammed into him just 75 seconds left in the first half.
Parks, who dropped nine points in a 15-5 spurt that gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead, also had six boards, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
Mbe posted a double-double of 17 markers and 11 boards, while Jeth Rosario and Alolino scored a combined 20 for the Bulldogs.
“It was big for us when they lost Teng,” said Altamirano.
Sumang erupted for a game-high 26 points, 18 in the second half where the Warriors also gave the Falcons a tough time with their defensive press.
The Falcons held on despite going scoreless from the 4:48 mark and Sewa also fouling out in the last two minutes.
ADAMSON 78–Cabrera 19, Sewa 15, Cruz 10, Julkipli 6, Brondial 6, Iñigo 5, Rios 4, Petilos 4, Agustin 4, Abrigo 4, Monteclaro 1, Trollano 0.
UE 71–Sumang 26, Casajeros 14, Mammie 9, Sumido 6, Santos 4, Javier 2, Olivares 2, Noble 2, Jumao-as 2, Alberto 2, Pujante 0, Hernandez 0, Galanza 0, Flores 0.
Quarters: 27-14, 50-25, 68-45, 78-71
NU 71–Parks 20, Mbe 17, Rosario 12, Alolino 8, Villamor 5, Javillonar 3, Roño 2, Porter 2, Khobuntin 2, De Guzman 0, Alejandro 0.
UST 67–Ferrer 20, Daquioag 13, Bautista 9, Teng 7, Mariano 7, Abdul 6, Lo 3, Pe 2, So 0, Hainga 0.
Quarters: 22-15, 37-31, 54-44, 71-67