MANILA, Philippines?A retooled National University halted a late rally by the University of Santo Tomas to open its Fil-oil Flying V Pre-season cup campaign with a 60-52 victory Thursday at the Arena in San Juan.
NU, whose core consists of rookies and sophomores, piled in a 9-2 run down the stretch and held the Tigers scoreless in the last three minutes.
Blue chip rookie Bobby Ray Parks Jr. scored 17 points and plucked seven rebounds in his debut for the Bulldogs.
"He's still adjusting to the Philippine style of basketball," said newly instated NU coach Eric Altamirano of Parks.
"We see him as a lead of our team even if he's still young."
The Growling Tigers, a young team themselves, came running back in the game and even took the lead, 50-59, for the first time in the six minute mark of the fourth.
But newbie Kevin Ferrer's two freethrows with 2:59 left was the last UST saw the scoreboard change.
Karim Abdul, UST's new foreign reinforcement, still finished with 13 points and 23 rebounds even in a jittery shooting night.
In the first game, San Beda overwhelmed Arellano to an 88-74 victory to even up its record to 1-1 early in the competition.
The Red Lions showed flashes of dominance even without American Sudan Daniels, as they led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter after struggling to pull away early.
Nigerian Ola Adeogun rose in the absence of Daniel with a game-high 21 points and 16 boards while Rome Dela Rosa added 15 points.
The Chiefs knocked on the door countless times, but had the rug pulled under their feet when four of their main guys fouled out early.