MANILA, Philippines – Ray Parks delivered in the second half to help National University overtake De La Salle in the standings following a 72-62 win Sunday night in the UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Parks, the reigning MVP, unleashed 24 points in the second half, including a 17-point outburst in the pivotal third quarter where the Bulldogs kept the Green Archers from drawing closer.
“We were very happy about the decision and we used that good favor to inspire us for this game and today we really played good defense,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano, whose team moved into fourth place at 7-4.
“We knew coming into the game how important this is. We were really focused on this game,” added Altamirano.
The six-foot-four Parks ended up with 32 points, his sixth 30-point game, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 32 minutes.
“For it’s not about the points. I’m just trying to help the team. Most important thing is we won the game,” said Parks.
NU led by as many as 16, 53-37, on a drive by Parks at the 2:10 mark of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs’ big men also played a key role as Emmanuel Mbe and Henri Betayene took turns in defending Archers center Norbert Torres.
Torres struggled as he shot a woeful three-of-15 from the field for a futile six-point night
Gelo Alolino added 11 points for NU.
Jeron Teng paced La Salle, which fell to 7-5, with a quiet 20 points on 21 shots.