UAAP Rookies shine as Tigers, Bulldogs down foes
MANILA—It’s turning out to be a stellar season for the rookies.
Kevin Ferrer starred for University of Santo Tomas while Ray Parks knocked in a season-best 30 points for National University as the Tigers and the Bulldogs downed their UAAP men’s basketball tournament rivals Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The UAAP juniors MVP last season, Ferrer unloaded 19 points and grabbed five rebounds as the Tigers roared to a 21-point advantage before turning back the University of the East Warriors, 70-63.
Parks, the first rookie in 10 years to score 30 points, translated his big numbers to a win this time as the Bulldogs tripped the University of the Philippines, 75-66, in the first game.
The Tigers, who nipped the Bulldogs, 73-72, for their first win last Thursday, opened a 53-32 lead in the third period before joining idle Ateneo for the lead the lead at 2-0.
Admitting he “couldn’t breathe” in his debut last week, Parks showed his true worth by grabbing nine rebounds, issuing three assists, and pulling off two steals on top of his notable 8-of-14 shooting clip.
Ateneo’s LA Tenorio was the last rookie to score 30 on Oct. 26, 2001. It was also the first time in two years that a player reached the 30-point mark since former MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini of Ateneo had the same output on Aug. 13, 2009.
“There were struggles in the first game, but we got the jitters out,” said Parks, one of the celebrated rookies this year along with the Ateneo duo of Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter.
“Of course I also want to have the attention,” said Ferrer, who had a double-double debut of 12 markers and 11 rebounds last Thursday. “I felt challenged (by the other rookies).”
Parks and Ferrer’s exploits came after Ravena also fired 24 points last Saturday and Slaughter had 23 markers last week.
“In the first game I couldn’t breathe,” said Parks. “I definitely took on the pressure, but the team succeeded. We played as a team.”
“He provided not only the scoring for us but the stability,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said of the son of seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks. “When we needed it he was there.”
Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe, saddled with early foul troubles, had 10 points and Joeffrey Javillonar chipped in nine points and seven boards for the Bulldogs.
“In the end it boiled down to our defense,” said Altamirano. “I thought we controlled the game in the second half.”
The Tigers led in double-figures for most of the game before the rebuilding Warriors, who remained winless in two games, came within four, 65-61, in the dwindling seconds.
“Our players relaxed and UE also started to get its rhythm,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.
NATIONAL U 75—Parks 30, Mbe 10, Javillonar 9, Villamor 8, Khobuntin 7, Terso 5, Eman 2, Alolino 2, Magat 2, Neypes 0, Labing-isa 0, Celiz 0, Ignacio 0, Singh 0.
UP 66—Manuel 21, Montecastro 12, Gamboa 9, Mbah 7, Gomez 6, Silungan 5, Romero 4, Wong 2, Wierzba 0, Maniego 0, Juruena 0, Gingerich 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 40-43, 59-53, 75-66
UST 70—Ferrrer 19, Teng 13, Fortuna 12, Abdul 10, Vigil 7, Camus 3, Lo 2, Pe 1, Tan 0, Sheriff 0.
UE 63—Zamar 18, Sumang 14, Sumido 9, Noble 9, Javier 6, Santos 5, Duran 2, Zosa 0, Montelibano 0, Chavez 0, Enguio 0, Tagarda 0, Flores 0.
Quarters: 11-8, 35-22, 60-39, 70-63