Bulldogs rip hapless WarriorsBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
HOST National University kicked off UAAP Season 75 with a visual spectacle. Hours later, the Bulldogs made sure to put up a bigger show.
Playing dominant early even minus a key cog, the Bulldogs rolled past University of the East, 90-55, at the start of the men’s basketball tournament in front of a 17,000-strong crowd yesterday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Jeoffrey Javillonar knocked in 10 of his 19 points in the pivotal second quarter, where the Bulldogs dropped a 25-4 bomb that gave them a wide 38-19 gap after trailing at 13-15.
Far Eastern University later pulled off an escape act behind RR Garcia to nip University of Santo Tomas, 73-72, in the second game.
Garcia unloaded 21 points, capped by the game-winning layup with 7.9 seconds left after UST’s Jeric Fortuna lost the ball off the dribble.
“In our last two possessions, we really played good defense,” said FEU coach Bert Flores.
Ray Parks, last season’s MVP who vowed to get his teammates more involved this season, stuck to his word yet still posted sensational numbers of 16 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks.
The Bulldogs staged the early breakaway even minus Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe, who had to sit out the entire first half after bringing the wrong uniform.
After the game, however, the Warriors put the game under protest, noting that some other players have also missing patches in their uniform.
Commissioner Ato Badolato said UE has 48 hours to submit its protest to the UAAP board, but noted that it had been discussed during the coaches’ technical meeting that sponsorship patches won’t be considered as part of the “proper uniform.”
The Bulldogs, the emerging squad tagged as a title contender this season, opened the second period with four straight triples, half coming from Parks, before Javillonar and Troy Rosario took over to lead them to a to a 25-point halftime lead, 48-23.
“Everybody knows their roles,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “That’s what good about this team, they understand their roles. It doesn’t matter who scores. What’s important is we win and we play as a team.”
The Bulldogs’ 35-point blasting of the Warriors was the biggest winning margin on opening day since FEU drubbed UE by 28, 89-61, on July 10, 2004.
Altamirano credited his crew for regaining their focus in the first half even minus Mbe, whose uniform had a missing number patch. Wearing the improper uniform would have been a violation of league rules.
“That caught us off guard,” said Altamirano. “Good thing Henri (Betayene) played very well for us. He dictated the tempo in the first quarter.”
The league, which unveiled its diamond anniversary celebration with a lights-and-sounds show, had former President Fidel V. Ramos gracing the affair that drew a crowd of 17,761.
One of the highlight had Ramos, one of NU’s prominent alumnus, running on court and doing his his famous “Edsa jump” with NU president Teddy Ocampo.
NU 90—Javillonar 19, Parks 16, Alolino 12, Rosario 10, De Guzman 8, Villamor 6, Mbe 4, Labing-isa 3, Ignacio 3, Betayene 3, Perez 2, Neypes 2, Celda 2, Singh 0, Roño 0, Khobuntin 0.
UE 55—Sumang 21, Razon 8, Galanza 8, Olayon 7, Santos 4, Belleze 2, Javier 2, Flores 2, Sumido 1, Alberto 0, Villarias 0, Valdez 0, Duran 0, Duncil 0.
Quarters: 13-15, 48-23, 72-40, 90-55
FEU 73—Garcia 21, Hargrove 14, Romeo 13, Tolomia 8, Pogoy 6, Bringas 4, Mendoza 3, Cruz 2, Bringas 2, Belo 0, Escoto 0.
UST 72—Abdul 24, Teng 18, Mariano 10, Bautista 7, Fortuna 6, Afuang 5, Ferrer 2, Vigil 0, Pe 0, Lo 0, Daquioag 0.
Quarters: 18-21, 31-37, 50-60, 73-72