National U back on track, dumps UPBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—There was no slowing National University down in the 67-50 dumping of University of the Philippines Thursday in the 75th UAAP men’s basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Fresh from a jolting setback to Ateneo, the Bulldogs vented its ire on the listless Maroons by breaking the game wide open through a massive 26-8 run in the second quarter.
“The ability to bounce back from a loss, especially a big loss to Ateneo, that’s [commendable],” said head coach Eric Altamirano of his squad’s performance.
NU, which chalked up its second victory of the season, was cruising in control from the beginning and padded on to the lead as big as 28 points in the third quarter.
Reigning MVP Bobby Ray Parks finished with 18 points, four rebounds and six assists along with three steals and three turnovers, which he wasn’t very happy about.
Emmanuel Mbe added 17 points, along with 16 rebounds and a block for NU.
A trey from Parks, back to back with Joeff Javillionar, erected a 52-24 edge with 2:34 in the third, before the Bulldogs slowed down in the ensuing quarter.
The Maroons showed signs of life in the fourth quarter after an abysmal performance early on, shooting as low as 22 percent from the field.
A 13-1 run by UP momentarily stunned NU and slashed the lead down to a respectable 16 points, 57-41, on a fastbreak bucket by Anjelo Montecastro.
But it was too late of a comeback for the Maroons, who reeled to their second loss of the season and their 11th straight since last year.