Bulldogs halt Tams’ streak; Eagles winBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
IT’S National University’s turn to get lucky this time.
Ray Parks pumped in six of NU’s last seven points as the Bulldogs ended Far Eastern University’s unbeaten run with a thrilling come-from-behind win, 61-57, in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament yesterday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Parks overcame a tough start to finish with 17 points, including two crucial free throws that gave the Bulldogs a 60-57 buffer with just 16.8 seconds left.
“The key was our composure, which was one thing lacking in the team,” said coach Eric Altamirano after his Bulldogs, who improved to 3-2, snapped the Tamaraws’ four-game win run.
Ateneo earlier overcame an early scare as the Blue Eagles rallied for a 76-70 victory over the winless University of the Philippines.
The Blue Eagles improved to 4-1 to claim a share of the lead with the Tamaraws, who saw their lucky run end after winning their first three games by just an average of two points.
Nico Salva dropped 11 of his 21 points in the third quarter where Ateneo grabbed the lead for the first time, 55-54, after trailing by as many as 10 points, 32-42.
“Every game that we play, we’re definitely going to get the other team’s best effort,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black, “Just because we’re Ateneo it doesn’t mean its going to be easy. We respect the other teams and what they bring to the game.”
Greg Slaughter buried all but two of his 13 points in the Blue Eagles’ second-half turnaround aside from hauling down nine boards and blocking three shots.
Ace FEU guard Terrence Romeo missed a potential game-tying triple in the dwindling seconds after Rey Mark Belo blew two free throws that could have given the Tamaraws the lead, 57-58, with 28.2 ticks left .
Parks, the reigning MVP, also grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists, while Troy Rosario had 12 markers.
Emmanuel Mbe posted a double-double of 12 points and 12 boards for the Bulldogs, who rallied from a 16-29 deficit.
Kiefer Ravena added 11 markers, while Oping Sumalinog also stepped up for the Eagles by drilling half of his 10 points inside the last three minutes to help the four-time champions take a 74-64 advantage.
The Maroons, who skidded to their fourth straight loss, came out strong with Chris Ball, Raul Soyud and rookie Henry Asilum to take a 40-32 halftime edge.
But the Eagles started the second half with a 15-7 explosion to tie the game at 47, then later closed out the third period with six unanswered points to wrest control at 61-57.
“What’s important for us was just to settle at halftime and get back at what we do best which is playing defense,” said Black.
The Eagles had a notable 58 percent shooting clip in the second half.
ATENEO 76—Salva 21, Slaughter 13, Ravena 11, Sumalinog 10, Chua 7, Gonzaga 5, Buenafe 5, Erram 2, Elorde 2, Pessumal 0, Capacio 0.
UP 70—Lopez 13, Ball 11, Padilla 11, Gamboa 10, Soyud 9, Montecastro 6, Asilum 6, Silungan 2, Romero 2, Mbah 0, Manuel 0, Hipolito 0, Gallarza 0.
Quarters: 17-19, 32-40, 61-57, 76-70
NU 61—Parks 17, Rosario 12, Mbe 12, Alolino 6, Villamor 4, Javillonar 4, Roño 3, Betayene 2, De Guzman 1, Singh 0.
FEU 57—Romeo 18, Belo 8, M. Bringas 8, Garcia 5, A. Bringas 5, Mendoza 4, Cruz 4, Hargrove 3, Escoto 2, Tolomia 0, Sentcheu 0, Pogoy 0.
Quarters: 12-15, 24-30, 46-47, 61-57