La Salle prevails over NU; Teng, Parks each score 35 pointsBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Two of the league’s brightest stars in Jeron Teng and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. showcased their unbelievable range Saturday.
But it was Teng’s numbers that counted as he, once again, steered La Salle in outlasting National University, 87-86, to wrap up his squad’s first round campaign in the 75th UAAP men’s basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Teng, who seems like the cinch for rookie-of-the year this early, poured 35 points — nine in the overtime periods — to become the only second Green Archer to reach the 30-point mark in the last decade.
Parks, owing to a miracle heave at the buzzer, also notched 35 points in a losing cause — a first time in recent memory that two players from each squad scored as much in a single game.
“I wasn’t really looking to score, but I needed to step up because we know LA [Revilla] wasn’t going to get a lot of minutes,” said the 18-year-old slasher, who also had six boards.
The last to score atleast 30 points for La Salle was former standout Joseph Yeo in 2003.
La Salle ended the first round with a competent 4-3 record, and tied for fourth with NU behind league-leaders, and coach Gee Abanilla though it was a good place to be in for his squad.
“We cannot afford to be left behind, and we were able to achieve it,” Abanilla. “They stayed tough in the second overtime.”
It was another double overtime trip for the Green Archers, but assured a different ending this time around by establishing the gap early, 85-79, on back-to-back treys from Teng and Almond Vosotros.
“We learned that in overtime, every possession counts. We valued it,” said Teng.
Vosotros, who also broke out with 18 points, though, muffed his jumpers which could’ve extended La Salle’s lead but nonetheless iced the game with a split from the stripe, 87-83.
Vosotros, and even Yutien Adrada each had a shot to wrap the game up with a wide open look from the elbow, but both misfired at the buzzer.
La Salle, who posted a 12-point lead in regulation, could have easily put away NU in the first overtime on a trey by Teng, 79-75, but yielded four straight buckets to Parks.
But the reigning MVP, who scored eight points in first overtime, couldn’t save his squad in the ensuing extra period as the Bulldogs absorbed their third loss.
Jeth Troy Rosario, whose undergoal stab off a feed from Parks with 0.7 ticks sent the game into the first overtime, added 14 points and 13 rebounds.