UAAP shocker after layoff: Bulldogs halt Tamaraws run
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2013 - 12:00am

Games today

2 p.m. – AdMU vs UP

4 p.m. – UST vs UE

MANILA, Philippines - Bobby Ray Parks played far from his A-game but delivered when it mattered most as National U ended Far Eastern U’s seven-game streak with a 59-58 victory at the start of second round action in the UAAP Season 76 men’s basketball tourney at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

Listless all game, Park chose the most opportune time to strike and knock down three clutch free throws in the last 32.3 seconds to help the Bulldogs (5-3) pull off what the field could not in the first round – stop the rampaging Tamaraws (7-1).

“I’m grateful that most of my teammates stepped up. I apologize for really playing like this. My team can’t have this kind of game from me,” said Parks.

The two-time MVP coughed up seven points but three of them actually helped NU wrest the lead back after the Tams seized a 58-54 cushion going to the last 3:36.

“I was thinking I got to bail my teammates out of this. I messed up in the first half and I have to settle down in the second half,” said Parks.

NU coach Eric Altamirano said it was the Bulldogs’ defense that did the trick.

“For us to beat FEU, we really had to assert ourselves especially on defense,” said Altamirano whose wards shut down FEU – a team that shot 40.6 percent in the first round – to a measly 31.9 percent.

Altamirano unleashed a defensive gem in Maurice Porter, who shadowed Terrence Romeo all game long, limiting the FEU hotshot to eight points, his lowest output since a seven-point performance in Oct. 2011. Porter covered the over-dribbling Romeo in a crucial play that led to a steal by Parks and the subsequent trip to the line for the game-winner.

“It was a defensive game and we had to grind it out. We struggled on offense but I like what happened in the end. Down by four, the boys’ didn’t lose heart and we regrouped in the crucial part of game,” said the NU mentor.

Gelo Alolino (13 points), Emmanuel Mbe (10) and Glenn Khobuntin (10) led NU.

RR Garcia shot 20 markers for FEU. 

Tams coach Nash Racela took the blame for the loss. “We had a lot of mistakes that we’ll have to correct in order to bounce back,” he said.

 Earlier, Almond Vosotros dished out a 19-point performance spiked by the game-winning basket as La Salle edged Adamson in overtime, 70-69.

The Archers wiped out a three-point cushion in the last 33 seconds of extra time, banking on Norbert Torres’ inside stab and Vosotros’ go-ahead shot to secure their fourth triumph against four defeats. The Falcons dropped to 3-5.

“This is our first close win and it’s good for the team because now, the team knows even in close games, we can pull it off. I hope we can build on this,” said DLSU coach Juno Sauler, whose wards repeated over the Falcons after their controversial 70-67 squeaker in the first round.

La Salle pounced on the opportunity when Adamson’s Ryan Monteclaro turned the ball over with 14.1 seconds left. LA Revilla missed his attempt but Vosotros picked up the rebound, then recovered the loose ball after Van Opstal couldn’t get a handle of his pass, and launched a looper that bounced thrice before going in, time down to 1.8 seconds.

Adamson could not execute in the final play, leading to a wayward heave from Jericho Cruz.

“Lucky shot siguro (It was a lucky shot),” said Vosotros who also had nine rebounds and five assists for La Salle, which missed Thomas Torres and Luigi dela Paz due to sickness.

Rodney Brondial paced Adamson with 19 markers and 23 boards, tying the record of former UST star Jervy Cruz and current University of the East behemoth Charles Mammie for most rebounds since 2003.

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