NU, La Salle bolster UAAP Final 4 driveBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Streaking National University grabbed solo lead (9-3) after blasting University of the Philippines, 79-62, while La Salle claimed a share of second (8-4) by forging a 75-65 overtime win against a University of the East side that got a reprieve in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
While both winners propped up their Final Four bids, Ateneo absorbed a huge blow as the UAAP Board slapped a one-game suspension on coach Bo Perasol for figuring in a postgame altercation with La Salle fan JJ Atayde.
But Perasol said his fourth-running Blue Eagles remain confident when the defending champions go for a crucial win against the Warriors on Sunday.
“Our players are still raring to go,” said Perasol, adding that assistant Sandy Arespacochaga will call the shots in his absence. “I believe that every time our team is down, our players become better. The direction of the team is still in our hands.”
Perasol nearly stormed the stands as Atayde heckled him while heading into the dugout after the game won by the Green Archers over the Blue Eagles, 66-64, last Sunday.
Atayde also got banned for the rest of the season for his unruly conduct.
“The mission-vision of the UAAP is to promote sportsmanship,” league secretary Malou Isip said after the Board’s emergency meeting yesterday. “We want to be consistent on that. From the players to the coaches and officials, they should observe good behavior.”
Ray Parks exploded for 30 points on top of 10 rebounds and five assists as the Bulldogs cruised to their sixth straight victory.
“Getting the No. 1 spot is a false sense of security because the standings are tight,” said coach Eric Altamirano after his Bulldogs secured at least a playoff for a semifinal slot.
The Archers shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in overtime to pull away from the Warriors, who had African center Charles Mammie suiting up after the UAAP Board granted UE’s appeal to reduce his suspension from two games to one just moments before the game .
NU 79—Parks 30, Mbe 14, Javillonar 6, Alolino 6, Alejandro 6, Khobuntin 5, Villamor 4, De Guzman 4, Rosario 2, Javelona 2, Roño 0, Porter 0, Neypes 0.
UP 62—Soyud 17, Marata 13, Desiderio 8, Lao 6, Gallarza 4, Ball 4, Wong 3, Pascual 3, Paras 2, Harris 2, Asilum 0, Amar 0.
Quarters: 24-19, 43-36, 64-48, 79-62
LA SALLE 75—Perkins 22, Teng 17, Vosotros 16, Van Opstal 9, T. Torres 6, Revilla 3, N. Torres 2, Salem 0, Reyes 0, Montalbo 0, Dela Paz 0.
UE 65—Sumang 17, Noble 17, Jumao-as 13, Mammie 11, Sumido 2, Javier 2, Casajeros 2, Alberto 1, Olayon 0, Santos 0, Pujante 0, Hernandez 0, Guion 0, Flores 0.
Quarters: 14-21, 30-35, 41-44, 56-56 (reg.), 75-65 (OT)