Sunday, 30 June 2013 31 Comments
by JOSEF T. RAMOS
Nationsl University (NU) gave debuting Ateneo De Manila University head coach Bo Perasol a rude welcome by posting a convincing 64-54 win Sunday in Season 76 of the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Knowing what the reigning champion are Blue Eagles capable of doing, the Bulldogs wasted no time in starting hot in the first two periods, establishing a double-digit lead before halftime and negating Ateneo’s fourth quarter run to post a 1-0 win-loss start.
NU also snapped a 10-game losing streak to Ateneo that started way back in 2007.
Small forward Bobby Ray Parks Jr., who dedicated the game to his late father and Philippine Basketball Association seven-time Best Import Bobby Parks Sr., piled up 22 points along with nine rebounds and four assists.
Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe scored on a breakaway dunk for a 29-19 lead with a minute left in second period. Denice Lee Villamor drained a long two at the buzzer off a Robin Rono pass to provide the Bulldogs with a sizable lead, 33-21, at the half.
Parks, who already tallied 15 points, six rebounds and two assists in the first half, delivered a pass to Villamor for an open three-pointer that stretched the Bulldogs’ advantage to 59-35 with 5:33 left in fourth quarter.
The Blue Eagles narrowed the gap to 44-59 after hitting three triples with under four minutes left in the payoff quarter, but the Bulldogs were not bothered even though they came within 10 (51-61) in the last two-minute mark.
Parks nailed a three-pointer with only 1:41 remaining to extend NU’s lead to 64-51 and the Bulldogs were never threatened the rest of the way.
“Somehow our defense relaxed, and we allowed them to get their bearing with their outside shots,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano. “But I felt we did a good job stopping that momentum.”
“We had 23 turnovers and most of them happened in the fourth. We really want to correct this, it’s one of the things we want to correct this season,” he added. “Ateneo just committed just 16 turnovers.”
Mbe finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds and Villamor added 13 points.
The Bulldogs shot 23-of-61 (37.7 percent), while Ateneo registered 20-of-72 (27.8 percent). Ateneo also shot 7-of-33 (21.2 percent) from the three-point area in contrast to National U’s 7-of-21 clip (33.3 percent).
National U also won the rebounding battle, 53-29.
Alfred Aroga, the other Cameroonian recruit of NU, decided to sit out the game due to the lack of original documents that will make him eligible this season. The NU management, however, said original documents will be submitted next week.
Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena, who scored only two points, played limited minutes and sat out the entire second half due to an ankle injury.
Juami Tiongson finished with 13 points for Ateneo. (EF/Inboundpass.com)
NU 64- Parks 22, Mbe 14, Villamor 13, Javillonar 5, Alolino 4, Rosario 2, Khobuntin 2, Alejandro 2, Rono 0, De Guzman 0
ADMU 54- Tiongson 13, Elorde 10, Buenafe 10, Newsome 9, Erram 4, Ravena 2, Pessumal 2, Golla 2, Capacio 2, Tolentino 0, Babilonia 0
QS: 15-10, 33-21, 48-32, 64-54